Turkey arrests more army officials after suspects turn into informants – pro-government newspaper

Turkish police arrested 208 people in the central Anatolian province of Konya for being local leaders of the Gülen Movement, and 83 of them turned into informants during the police interrogation, Turkish pro-government newspaper Sabah said.

Turkey considers the followers of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen as a terrorist organisation, called the “Fethullahist Terrorist Organisation,” or “FETÖ,” and accuses them of plotting the July 2016 coup attempt.

Those who turned gave names of 70 military officers, 58 of which were on active duty, the newspaper said, although they did not participate in the coup attempt, and did not use ByLock, the encrypted chat app that was purportedly used for communication within the Gülen network.

Turkish law enforcement calls these suspects “crypto,” or secret Gülenists, and charges them with membership of a terrorist organisation without taking part in acts of terror.

Since the July 2016, 408 of the 885 arrested high-ranking military officials have turned into informants, Sabah wrote, and helped the prosecutors to arrest pilots, special forces and other critical personnel in the Turkish army.

Called “effective remorse,” Turkish law has provisions for reduced sentence to defendants who give information on co-conspirators and others who aid or abet a criminal act.