FETO suspect held identities of 49 million Turks

Former government employee accused of leaking Turkish identities

FETO suspect held identities of 49 million Turks

By Ismet Karakas

ANKARA

At least 49 million Turkish citizens’ identities were held by a suspected member of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup attempt, according to a Turkish court Thursday.

Nazmi Mert, an engineer who worked for Turkey’s Security General Directorate’s department of intelligence, held a data card with information from Turkey’s central civil registration system (MERNIS), according to the court.

Mert, as well as 32 others on trial in Ankara, are accused of trying to seize the department during the coup attempt.

He denied all accusations.

The trial will continue on Friday.

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen are accused of orchestrating the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 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.

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