16 people including stallholder woman detained in Aksaray over alleged ByLock use

Turkish police teams on Tuesday detained 16 people, including a stallholder woman in an Aksaray-based coup probe on accusations that they use a smart phone application known as ByLock, the Doğan news agency reported.

One of the alleged ByLock users Gülen D. was detained in a market place where she was selling tomatoes and pepper. Upon being detained Gülen D. said: “Why are you detaining me? There must be a misunderstanding. I don’t have any problems with anyone. What am I going to do with my vegetables? When will I be released?”

Aksaray Chief Prosecutor’s Office issued detention warrants for 27 people in İstanbul, Antalya, Kayseri, Kırıkkale, Ankara, Konya, Balıkesir, Eskişehir provinces as part of an investigation into the faith based Gülen movement, accused by the Turkish government of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016. Stallholder Gülen D. was released later on the same day.

Also on Tuesday, police detained 6 people in Kayseri on accusations that they use a smart phone application known as ByLock, Birgün daily reported. According to the report, six alleged ByLock users, including dismissed policemen, teachers, engineers and doctors, were detained as part of an investigation into the faith-based Gülen movement, which is accused by the Turkish government of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

Police detained 18 people in 8 provinces on Tuesday over their alleged use of ByLock in an Elazığ-based investigation as part of Turkish government’s massive post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting the alleged members of the Gülen movement in the aftermath of a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2017. Following the detention warrants issued by Elazığ Chief Prosecutor’s Office, police detained 18 people in Elazığ, İstanbul, Ankara, İzmir, Kocaeli, Hatay, Denizli and Malatya provinces.

Moreover, following the detention warrants issued by Kırşehir Chief Prosecutor’s Office for 10 people over their alleged use of ByLock, 7 people were detained by police on Tuesday in Kırşehir, Ankara and Kırıkkale provinces. It was reported that the detainees consist of private sector professionals and teachers who used to work for schools closed by the government decrees under the rule of emergency declared in the aftermath of a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

In Yozgat province, 11 people were detained by police over their alleged use of ByLock on Tuesday following the detention warrants issued by Yozgat Chief Prosecutor’s Office for 14 people. It was reported that police detained the suspects in Sarıkaya and Boğazlıyan districts of Yozgat province.

Turkish authorities believe using ByLock indicates membership in the Gülen movement. Tens of thousands of civil servants, police officers and businessmen have either been dismissed or arrested for using ByLock since the failed coup attempt last year.

Also on Tuesday, 12 teachers were detained by police over accusation of opening illegal preparatory courses in Manisa province. It was claimed the detained teachers used to work for schools closed by the government decrees under the rule of emergency over their alleged affiliation with the Gülen movement.

In a Tokat-based investigation as part of post-coup witch hunt campaign, 4 people, including public servants, were detained by police in Ankara, Şanlıurfa, Denizli and Muğla provinces on Tuesday over their alleged links to the Gülen movement. The detainees were transferred from the cities where they were detained to Tokat Police Department.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with Turkey’s autocratic President Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15. Turkey’s Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup. (SCF with turkishminute.com)

Take a second to support SCF on Patreon!