TURKEY

Turkey issues arrest warrants for 70 FETO suspects

TURKEY ISSUES ARREST WARRANTS FOR 70 FETO SUSPECTS

Turkish police launched raids across 16 provinces on Friday to arrest dozens of teachers suspected of links to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup.

Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor issued arrest warrants for a total of 70 teachers who were former staff of FETO-linked schools closed by an emergency decree, said a security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media.

Some of the suspects are accused of using ByLock, an encrypted mobile phone application used by FETO members to communicate during and after the defeated coup attempt, while others are accused of having deposited money at the FETO-affiliated Bank Asya upon orders from the terrorist group.

An Istanbul court declared the Islamic lender bankrupt last November. Bank Asya's banking license was cancelled on July 22, 2016 -- seven days after the coup attempt -- by Turkey's Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK).

The banking watchdog had ruled for complete takeover of all shares of Bank Asya by the state-run Insurance Fund in May 2015.

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Ankara accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.

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