Turkish security forces have detained 19 people accused of spying on the country’s defense industry. All those arrested are suspected of being associated with the Hizmet (“Service”) movement of Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, which the local authorities call a “terrorist network” (FETÖ). This was announced today, March 31, by the information and analytical portal Ahval.
Among the detainees are former employees of the local defense company Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), four worked for the country’s largest defense firm, Aselsan.
Other suspects are former members of state-controlled organizations, including the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBITAK), missile manufacturer Roketsan and military software company Havelsan.
Former defense industry workers have been accused of having links to senior representatives of the Gulen movement through landline telephone lines, state news agency Anadolu explained, citing an investigation coordinated by Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT).
Let us remind that the Turkish authorities consider the Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, who has been permanently residing in the United States since 1999, as the leader of the “terrorist network” FETÖ and the “ideological inspirer” of the coup attempt in Turkey in July 2016. Ankara is seeking the American side to extradite Gulen from the United States.