Turkey seeks arrests of more than 200 soldiers for failed 2016 coup

Turkish prosecutors on Tuesday issued arrest warrants for more than 200 soldiers stemming from the failed military coup three years ago.

Turkish citizens celebrate in Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, on July 16, 2016 — a show of support for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan following a failed coup attempt by the nation’s military.

Officials said the warrants were given for troops in Istanbul and Aegean Izmir province for connections to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), which Turkish officials have blamed for the failed 2016 overthrow attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Colonels, lieutenants, majors and captains were among the 176 active soldiers covered in the warrants. Authorities said the arrests are part of an investigation into FETO infiltration of Turkey’s armed forces.

Turkey has blamed FETO leader Fetullah Gulen, who lives in the United States, for organizing the attempted coup in July 2016. More than 250 people died and 2,200 were injured in fighting during the grab for power.

The new round of arrests is Turkey’s latest effort to hunt down persons behind the plot to supplant Erdogan’s regime. Prosecutors issued 122 warrants last week and conducted raids in 56 provinces. More than 100 Turkish troops were arrested in January.

Gulen, who’s been tried in absentia in Turkey, has denied any ties to FETO and the United States has refused to extradite him to Turkey.

ByClyde Hughes