Turkish police raided over 200 addresses across 18 provinces, including Istanbul, on Thursday as part of a nationwide probe into the financing of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).
Speaking on condition of anonymity, security sources said the Istanbul Counter-Financial Crimes Branch Directorate simultaneously raided addresses in the city’s Fatih, Sisli, Kagithane, Pendik and Sile districts with riot police back-up.
Officers searched premises of business groups under the Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON) in 18 provinces across the country.
The source said that arrest warrants had been issued for a total of 187 people. These include: TUSKON chairman Rizanur Meral; Aydinli Group chairman Omer Faruk Kavurmaci; plus Faruk and Nejat Gulluoglu, owners of the well-known Gulluoglu Baklava chain.
Police have made an undisclosed number of arrests and searches are continuing.
Thursday’s raids follow a major operation in Istanbul on Tuesday against 51 companies suspected of supporting FETO. Financial crime officers raided companies – including Akfa Holding and the A101 supermarket chain – in the city’s Uskudar and Umraniye districts. Eighty arrests were made.
Over 40,000 detentions in FETO probes
A wave of detentions following the July 15 defeated coup has seen thousands of people held across Turkey.
Senior business figures, as well as members of the military, police and judiciary have been among those targeted.
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim confirmed on Wednesday over 20,000 people had been remanded in custody since the July 15 coup attempt.
During a live interview on the state-owned TRT Haber news channel, Yildirim laid out statistics indicating a wide-ranging investigation in which “40,029 people have been detained and 20,355 were arrested including police officers, soldiers, judiciary members, local administrators and civilians.”
Yildirim also said a total of 5,187 people are still remanded in custody.
So far, nearly 80,000 civil servants have been suspended from duty while just over 5,000 have been dismissed, Yildirim added.
Turkey’s government has said the defeated coup, which left 240 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured, was organized by followers of Fetullah Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania since 1999, and his FETO network.
Gulen is accused of leading a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary, forming what is commonly known as the parallel state.
Source: Anadolu Agency