Police grab 24 FETÖ, Daesh suspects in Istanbul, Izmir

Police grab 24 FETÖ, Daesh suspects in Istanbul, Izmir

Turkish authorities on Wednesday detained 13 former military students with suspected ties to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) in Istanbul and 11 other Daesh suspects in the western port city of Izmir.

In an ongoing probe, the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office seeks the detention of 15 suspects who served in the terrorist group’s so-called “military formation” and were periodically and successively contacted via phone.

The suspects were also involved in FETÖ’s exam fraud, in which the group either leaked the questions of public personnel selection exams like the KPSS or stole the answers to help place its members in government positions.

The suspects helped mark FETÖ members as “advantaged” candidates in recruitment interviews for military academies by using their candidate identification numbers, Istanbul prosecutors said.

Police raided 14 locations in the city and captured 13 suspects. They continue pursuing the remaining two who are at large.

Türkiye has marked FETÖ as a security threat since December 2013, when the terrorist group emerged as the perpetrator of two coup attempts disguised as graft probes.

It has been under more intense scrutiny since the July 15, 2016, coup attempt its infiltrators in the army carried out, which left 251 people dead and thousands more injured.

Under a state of emergency following the attempt, tens of thousands of people were detained, arrested or dismissed from public sector jobs.

The terrorist group has also been widely accused of stealing questions and answers to the KPSS and other exams, most notably the 2013 edition. The exam results of a large number of participants linked to FETÖ were annulled after investigations uncovered the fraud as recently as 2022.

The KPSS is a stepping stone into the public sector for people of all backgrounds and covers a wide range of questions from all fields, from culture to geography, but it was used by the terrorist group to place its infiltrators in the Turkish bureaucracy, including ministries.

The terrorist group faces operations almost daily as investigators still try to unravel their massive network of infiltrators everywhere. In 2024 alone, police apprehended hundreds of FETÖ suspects across the country, including fugitives on western borders trying to flee to Europe.

11 Daesh suspects nabbed in Izmir
Also on Wednesday, some 11 suspects with ties to the Daesh terrorist group were detained in the western port city of Izmir.

Gendarmerie forces, counterterrorism units and intelligence officers raided 13 different addresses in the city, seizing dozens of digital materials and four banned publications.

They continued searching for two suspects who fled.

Türkiye has been rounding up Daesh-linked suspects in ramped-up operations since the terrorist group attacked an Italian church in Istanbul in late January, killing one man during Sunday Mass.

Daesh operates a so-called Khorasan Province (Daesh-K) network in Türkiye, which looks for “new methods” and recruits more foreign members for its activities after constant counterterrorism operations became a “challenge,” security sources say.

The National Intelligence Organization (MIT) thwarted the terrorist group’s efforts for recruitment, obtaining funds and logistics support after its latest operation in the aftermath of the church shooting.

Daesh remains the second biggest threat of terrorism for Türkiye, which faces security risks from multiple terrorist groups and was one of the first countries to declare it as a terrorist group in 2013.

In December last year, Turkish security forces detained 32 suspects over alleged links with Daesh, who were planning attacks on churches and synagogues, as well as the Iraqi Embassy.

Terrorists from Daesh and other groups, such as the PKK and its Syrian wing, the YPG, rely on a network of members and supporters in Türkiye.

Source » dailysabah.com