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Turkish President: FETO Arrests 'Tip Of The Iceberg'

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President Recep Tayyip Erdogan calls on people to report anyone suspected of Fetullah Terrorist Organization links

Thousands of members of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) – led by US-based preacher Fetullah Gulen – detained after the July 15 coup attempt are “just the tip of the iceberg,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday.

Speaking at a meeting with Turkish business leaders at the presidential complex in Ankara, he said that security forces are continuing to track down FETO members inside state institutions and in the community at large.

“Now the detained people [FETO members] are just the tip of the iceberg, the same process is ongoing for the rest of them,” he said.

Erdogan underlined that Turkey will no longer show any mercy for FETO members.

“If we feel sorry for them, we would become miserable,” Erdogan added.

The president reiterated his regret over his past alliance with Gulen and his followers.

“Let my God and my people forgive us. We made a mistake,” he said.

All institutions, houses, companies, unions, and foundations linked to FETO are just being part of the terrorist organization, the president stressed.

“Everybody needs to accept that these people are murderers because innocents' blood is on their hands,” he said, referring to the hundreds of deaths due to the coup.

“No doubt there is also a business side of this organization. That's where they are perhaps the most powerful. No project can succeed without financing. We are determined to cut off this bloody organization's business connections and revenue sources,” he said.

According to the Interior Ministry, almost 26,000 people have been arrested in Turkey during investigations into the coup attempt. Those arrested, as well as tens of thousands of public sector workers who have been suspended from their jobs, are suspected of having links to FETO, which the government says orchestrated the thwarted coup.

Erdogan also called on people to report to the police anyone suspected of being a FETO member or follower.

The president said Gulen’s books are full of inaccurate information and are not suitable for learning about Islam.

Separately, Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate suspended 492 people over the attempted coup.

Erdogan urged the directorate to investigate Gulen’s books and the Religious Affairs Supreme Council to look at his other works.

“Let’s give this man’s so-called works to our Religious Affairs Directorate for investigations. This man’s books contain many elements that are incompatible with Islam,” Erdogan said.

The president also called for reform of the judicial system.

“Turkey can no longer be governed by laws from the 1950s made after other coups,” he said.

The country accuses U.S.-based preacher Gulen of masterminding the failed coup and has sent the U.S. two official requests for his extradition to face trial.

Gulen has lived in self-imposed exile in the U.S. since 1999 and is also accused of leading the Fetullah Terrorist Organization or FETO.

The coup attempt left 239 martyrs in its wake and nearly 2,200 others injured.

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