An İstanbul court ruled for the arrest of 40 police officers on Thursday over alleged links to the Gülen movement, the Cumhuriyet daily has reported.
According to the report, 43 police officers were detained on early on Thursday in simultaneous raids across İstanbul. Of those, 40 were sent to jail later the same day over their alleged use of a smart phone application known as ByLock.
ByLock is considered by Turkish authorities to be the top communication tool among followers of the faith-based Gülen movement, which is accused by the government of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.
Tens of thousands of civil servants, police officers and businessmen have either been dismissed or arrested for alleged use of ByLock since the failed coup attempt.
Turkey experienced a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement. The movement denies any involvement.
Over 135,000 people, including thousands within the military, have been purged due to their real or alleged connections to the Gülen movement since a July 15 coup attempt in Turkey, according to a statement by the labor minister on Jan. 10.
As of March 23, 94,982 people were being held without charge, with an additional 47,128 in pre-trial detention due to their alleged links to the movement. A total of 7,317 academics were purged as well as 4,272 judges and prosecutors who were dismissed due to alleged involvement in the coup attempt or alleged terror organization links (turkeypurge.com) March 30, 2017