UPDATE - 6 ex-ministry staff arrested in Ankara over FETO links

Arrest warrants issued for 8 former employees of Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning

UPDATES WITH MORE ARRESTS ACROSS TURKEY

By Zafer Fatih Beyaz and Sertac Bulur

At least six former employees of Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning were arrested in the capital Ankara on Tuesday for their alleged links to Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).

The arrests came after warrants had been issued for eight FETO-linked suspects, according to a statement issued by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured, according to the Turkish government.

The FETO-suspects were accused of using ByLock, an encrypted mobile phone messaging application used by coup plotters.

Separately, a total of 27 suspects were arrested in different operations launched across Turkey on Tuesday.

In central Kayseri province, two suspects were arrested for providing financial support to FETO and five others were held for using ByLock.

In southeastern Gaziantep province, seven suspects were arrested after provincial Public Prosecutor's Office launched a probe into companies having ties with FETO.

In central Kirikkale province, five suspects, including suspended and on-duty police officers, were arrested for allegedly providing financial support to FETO.

In central Kirsehir province, eight soldiers, including on-duty personnel, were arrested in simultaneous operations in six different provinces.

Two people were also arrested in simultaneous operations conducted in nine different provinces including Kahramanmaras, Istanbul, Ankara, Bursa, Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, Mardin, Adiyaman and Osmaniye provinces.

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.

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