Detention warrants issued for 159 in Ankara as 115 detained in İstanbul over alleged ByLock use

The Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office has issued detention warrants for 159 people including journalists as Turkish police teams detained 115 people in İstanbul on Friday on the grounds that they allegedly use a smart phone application known as ByLock.

It was reported that the İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has issued detention warrants for 168 people over their alleged ByLock use as part of Turkish government’s massive post-coup witch hunt targeting the alleged followers of the Gülen movement on Friday. Following the detention warrants Turkish police teams detained 115 people.

Meanwhile, Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office has also issued detention warrants for 159 people including 105 former police officers in 13 provinces, 14 former and six active Forestry and Water Affairs Ministry staff members and 34 people who used to work for the closed-down media organizations over their alleged use of ByLock, as part of the witch hunt targeting the alleged followers of the Gülen movement.

I wasalso learned that 8 media workers who were earlier dismissed from the state-run broadcaster TRT were put in pre-trial jail over thier alleged use of ByLock on Wednesday. The arrestees included reporter Efnan Y; technician Faysal A.; engineers Serkan C. and Özgur S., production workers Şule R., Uğur Y., Tuba E., and Yunus G.

Turkish authorities believe using ByLock is a sign of being a Gülen follower as they see the mobile phone application as the top communication tool among the group. Tens of thousands of civil servants, police officers and businessmen have either been dismissed or arrested for using ByLock since the failed coup attempt.

Moreover, Professor Dr. Hüseyin Bağcı, the former rector of Denizli’s Pamukkale University (PAU), has been put in pre-trial detention over his alleged links to the Gülen movement. Bagcı, who is a professor of genetic, was arrested on Wednesday. He was earlier dismissed from his position as the rector over similar accusations.

A controversial military coup attempt on July 15 killed 249 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 and 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’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.

July 21, 2017

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