Police arrest FETO-linked army officer in south Turkey

ANTALYA, Turkey

A fugitive military officer suspected of being one of the key figures linked to last year's defeated coup was arrested in southern Antalya province Wednesday, according to a police source.

Antalya Police Department's counter-terrorism unit raided a house in Muratpasa district in the morning and arrested Lt. Col. Ozcan Karacan for his role in the July 15, 2016, coup bid, the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, said.

Karacan, who was carrying a fake ID and seemed to have changed his appearance by growing his hair long and a beard, had allegedly given pro-coup pilots the order to shoot at vehicles with blue lights [police vehicles] through a walkie-talkie in capital Ankara during the defeated coup night, the source said.

He was also wanted as part of a probe into the assassination attempt on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the night of July 15, 2016.

The president, who was vacationing in southwestern Mugla province on the night of the coup bid, had left for Istanbul after being alerted about the attempt and narrowly escaped an armed attack on the hotel he was staying at in Marmaris. The hotel was bombed 15 minutes after he left.

According to the government, Fetullah Terrorist Organization (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.

Ankara also 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.

Source: Anadolu Agency