Some 16 foreign students — 10 from Somalia, three from Djibouti, two from Guinea and one from Syria — were rounded up for their alleged links to the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ) in the southern Mersin province, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on June 30, citing the Chief Prosecutor’s Office.
One of the suspects who was rounded up was reported to be the contact person for foreign students linked to the group in the Mersin province.
The suspects — who were studying at Mersin University — were detained after police reportedly raided 10 of group’s cell houses deemed the “hygene house.”
Police are reported to be hunting seven other suspects as part of the probe into the group which Ankara accuses of having masterminded the deadly coup attempt of July 15, 2016.
13 on-duty soldiers detained
Separately, at least 29 suspects, including on-duty soldiers, were arrested across Turkey for their alleged links to FETÖ, the agency reported on June 30, citing police sources.
Thirteen on-duty soldiers were detained in simultaneous operations conducted in nine provinces, including the capital Ankara, and the central Kırıkkale and eastern Diyarbakır provinces, the agency quoted the unnamed sources as saying.
The detentions came after the Kırıkkale Public Prosecutor’s Office issued arrest warrants for the soldiers as part of a probe into FETÖ’S secret military structure.
Since a state of emergency was declared on July 20, 2016 – four days after the coup attempt that killed more than 250 people – tens of thousands of people including academics, law enforcement officials, judiciary personnel and civil servants have been jailed pending trial. Some 150,000 have been suspended or dismissed from their jobs.
The government says the crackdown is necessary to fight security threats since the attempted takeover, yet the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) said it disagrees, and that the biggest threat to Turkey is rather a “lack of justice.”