Turkish Cypriot police have arrested one of their own this week, a man thought to be second in command amongst officers with FETO links in the north, while dozens more were arrested in Turkey during a similar operation.
According to Turkish media, Cetin Sahmaran was placed under arrest on Wednesday after a long operation based on technical surveillance carried out by police against suspected Gulenists.
Sahmaran, who was later described as “Number 2 Imam” within Turkish Cypriot police ranks, was detained when law enforcement agents raided his residence with a search warrant.
He was arrested after a long technical surveillance carried out by police in an operation against suspected Gulenists and FETO’s infiltration into the judiciary
Police confiscated 20,600 pounds, 5000 dollars, 3000 euro, multiple electronic goods, mobile phones, and a series of documents, according to local media.
Sahmaran was remanded in custody for two days while possible charges were not immediately known.
Last year, Turkish Cypriot authorities intensified efforts to go after police staff with alleged ties to the Fethullah Gulen Organisation (FETO), classified as a terrorist group that was behind an unsuccessful coup attempt in Turkey back in 2016.
Dozens of suspects were also arrested on Wednesday in Turkey during an operation against FETO’s infiltration into the judiciary in many provinces as well as the capital Ankara.
Turkish Cypriot authorities have been interviewing officers and police staff, while last year authorities intensified their efforts by suspending bank accounts and freezing assets.
Turkey accuses FETO of trying to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.
Ankara also says US-based and self-exiled Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen was behind the failed coup against President Tayyip Erdogan. Thousands of people have fled Turkey following the attempt in July 2016, with a crackdown on supporters of the Gulen movement continuing to take place, including in the northern part of Cyprus.