At least 75 civilians have been sent by Turkish courts to jail in four major Turkish provinces over alleged links to the Gülen movement, which the Turkish gov’t accuses of masterminding a coup attempt on July 15, 2016.
In Kayseri, ten businessmen were sent to prison on Saturday over their alleged use of a smart phone application known as ByLock . In a similar vein, at least 16 civilians were jailed over similar charges in Manisa, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
Also, on Friday, at least 15 people in Kayseri were detained as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement. Kayseri police carried out operation to round up two employees from the local tax office; one from the Revenue Office; two from the Social Security Institution; two from the Provincial Directorate of Family and Social Policies; the Provincial Directorate of Agriculture and Livestock; one from the Small and Medium Industry Development Organization; one from the 6th Provincial Directorate for Highways; three from Abdullah Gül University; one from the 12th Directorate General for State Hydraulic Works and one from Adana Provincial Gendarmerie Command.
The detainees are accused of having used ByLock mobile application. Tens of thousands of civil servants, police officers and businessmen have either been dismissed or arrested for using ByLock since a failed coup attempt last July. 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 using ByLock since the failed coup attempt.
In Ankara, a total of 39 people, including businessmen, housewives were arrested by an Ankara penal court of peace on Saturday. In Kahramanmaraş, at least 12 people, including one high-ranking military officer who was reportedly dismissed from Turkish military after the coup attempt, were sent to jail over alleged links to the movement.
All arrestees are accused of membership in an “armed terrorist organization.” The military coup attempt on July 15 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 the July 15 coup attempt, 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, and 4,272 judges and prosecutors were dismissed due to alleged involvement in the coup attempt. (turkeypurge.com) April 1, 2017