Ten Somali students were arrested inTurkey’s southern Mersin province over alleged links to the Fethullahist Terror Organisation (FETO), the group suspected to be behind the coup attempt in 2016, Garowe Online reported yesterday.
The students were arrested alongside six others – three from Djibouti, two from Guinea and one from Syria – in a string of counter-terrorism raids executed by the Turkish authorities. Seven other suspects are still at large. The students were studying at Mersin University, but no other information is known about them.
Some 41 other suspects, including on-duty Turkish soldiers ,were arrested over the same alleged links to FETO. The arrests come as the Kirikkale Public Prosector’s Office issued an arrest warrant for the soldiers. The counter-terrorism operation took place across 13 provinces, including Bursa, Sirnak and Kayseri.
Turkish authorities believe FETO’s leader Fetullah Gulen directed the defeated coup in July 2016, where 251 people were killed and some 2,200 were injured. The Turkish government led by Recep Tayyip Erdogan accuses the group of attempting to infiltrate government institutions, including the police, military and judiciary to overthrow the state.
Last week, Erdogan won more than half the votes in Turkey’s presidential election.