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Sat, 14 Dec 2019 18:04 GMT

Turkey Arrests 63 Military Pilots Allegedly Linked to Gulen


7Dnews London

Wed, 30 Jan 2019 21:12 GMT

Seeking to purge plotters related to the failed 2016 coup, Turkey has issued arrest warrants for 63 suspects, most of them military pilots, the Ankara chief prosecutor's office said, on Wednesday January 30th. Police raids to catch the suspects were underway.

The roundup is part of an investigation carried out by the prosecutor into the "Fethullah Terror Organisation" or FETO, an acronym which authorities use for the group allegedly behind the failed coup, according to AFP.

Forty-six of the 63 suspects are helicopter pilots on active military duty, the office said. Two are former pilots and the remaining 15 are civilians working for the movement, it added.

Turkey accuses the US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen and his movement of ordering the attempted coup, which he strongly denies.

Tens of thousands of people have been arrested in the crackdown that followed the putsch in a bid to eradicate the Gulen movement's influence in Turkey.

In recent weeks, the number of raids has increased, with almost daily reports of arrests across the country. Turkish authorities say the purges are necessary to cleanse the "virus" of the Gulen movement's infiltration of state institutions.

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