Somali students linked to terror group arrested in Turkey
At least 41 suspects, including on-duty soldiers, were arrested across Turkey for their alleged links to Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup attempt, police sources said on Saturday.
Thirteen on-duty soldiers were arrested during simultaneous operations conducted in nine provinces, including the capital Ankara, and the central Kirikkale and eastern Diyarbakir provinces, said the sources, on condition of anonymity due to restriction on talking to the media.
The arrests came after the Kirikkale Public Prosecutor’s Office issued arrest warrants for the soldiers as part of a probe into FETO's secret military structure.
Separately, 16 foreign students -- 10 from Somalia, three from Djibouti, two from Guinea and one from Syria -- were rounded up for their alleged links to FETO terror group in the southern Mersin province, the sources said.
The suspects -- who were studying at Mersin University -- were arrested after police raided the terror group’s cell houses.
Police are on the lookout for seven other suspects as part of the probe into the terror group.
Also, in a Kahramanmaras-based operation, police arrested 12 suspects including 10 on-duty soldiers and FETO’s two alleged "covert imams".
The operations were held across 13 provinces including Kayseri, Erzurum, Nigde, Bursa, and Sirnak.
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fethullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara also 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.