Police detains 11 Turkish bank employees over FETO ties

Thu 08 June 2017 10:56 GMT | 14:56 Local Time

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Suspects accused of using ByLock messenger app, which Turkey has said was used extensively by FETO members.

Ankara police have detained 11 people working in several Turkish banks over their alleged use of a mobile phone messaging app used by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), prosecutors said Thursday, according to Anadolu Agency.

They are among the 20 employees of Turkey’s Central Bank, Asya Bank, Iller Bank and Kalkinma Bank, against who the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued a detention decision, for suspected ties to FETO, which the Turkish government accuses of orchestrating last July’s coup.

They are all accused of using the ByLock app, which Turkey has said was used extensively by FETO members.

The app is believed to have been cracked by Turkish security agencies before the coup, prompting the plotters to switch to the WhatsApp messaging service but not before tens of thousands of FETO suspects were identified.

The 20 suspects have been fired from their jobs.

In a separate operation led by the Ankara police, 42 military officials were arrested for alleged links to FETO, of which 17 were taken into custody.

The operation was spread across 25 provinces, including Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir, Erzurum and Malatya.

On May 31, the prosecutor’s office had issued arrest warrants against 60 soldiers, who were on duty at the Turkish Military Academy on the night of the coup.

The July 15 coup attempt, which Turkey says was masterminded by U.S.- based Fetullah Gulen, saw 250 people martyred and 2,200 wounded.

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.

In the wake of the coup attempt, tens of thousands of FETO suspects have been arrested, including many in the armed forces, police, the judicial system, and education and business sectors.

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