Over 500 suspects nabbed over FETÖ ties

Security units have apprehended 544 suspects over their alleged links to FETÖ, the group behind the 2016 failed coup, in a comprehensive operation spanning 62 out of the country's 81 provinces, Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya has announced.

The operation targeted suspects the organization had planned to place at different levels of the civil service, Yerlikaya said in a social media post on May 14.

Yerlikaya disclosed that the investigation was a collaborative effort, encompassing multiple security units, including the National Intelligence Organization (MİT).

Some of the detainees were found to be users of ByLock, the encrypted messaging application employed by the group. These individuals were directed to participate in civil service entrance exams with the instructions of the organization's supervisors, the minister said.

"The loyalty of the members of the organization applying for these exams was coded in various ways. Additionally, it was determined that to evade technical surveillance, they communicated via payphones," Yerlikaya said.

FETÖ, led by its U.S.-based founder Fetullah Gülen, orchestrated the coup attempt on July 15, 2016. The foiled coup - which targeted key locations in the capital Ankara, Istanbul, Marmaris and elsewhere - resulted in the loss of over 300 lives and left around 2,200 people injured.

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