Detention warrants issued for 40 at closed-down university, 52 informatics staff detained over alleged Gülen links

The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has issued detention warrants for 40 people including academics and staff members at the Ankara-based Turgut Özal University which was closed down by the government in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt last July due to its links to the faith-based Gülen movement. The academics and staff members are being accused of using a smart phone application known as ByLock mobil phone messaging application.

Dozens of educational institutions and media outlets were shut down while hundreds of companies were seized by the government due to their links to the Gülen movement in the aftermath of the controversial putsch.

Meanwhile, Turkish police teams on Tuesday detained 52 people working as informatics staff members in a number of big companies on the grounds that they are linked to the faith-based Gülen movement. As part of the operation, prosecutors issued detention warrants for a total of 105 people across eight Turkish provinces. Detention proceedings for the remaining 53 individuals were under way as of Tuesday morning.

The people for whom detention warrants have been issued are working at informatics staff members at companies such as Sürat Information Technology Co., Turkey’s partly state-owned telecom provider Türk Telekom, Turkish Airlines, the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBİTAK), Turkish defense industry manufacturer Havelsan, former employees of Presidency of Telecommunication and Communication (TIB). The suspects are accused of using the ByLock messaging application.

Turkish police teams on Tuesday also detained 18 people in Karaman province on allegations that they use a smart phone application known as ByLock. The Karaman Chief Prosecutor’s Office issued detention warrants for 23 people and detained 18, accused of being followers of the faith-based Gülen movement.

Moreover, 17 teachers were detained by Turkish police on Tuesday in a Bursa-based witch-hunt campaign targeting the alleged members of the Gülen movement. It was reported that Bursa Chief Prosecutor Office has issued arrest warrants for 21 teachers who were previously dismissed by government decrees under the rule of emergency declared in the aftermath of the controversial coup on July 15, 2016. Police teams organized smultaneous operations in Turkey’s five provinces and detained 17 teachers.

In Gölbaşı district of Ankara province, 8 shopkeepers were detained by police on Tuesday over their alleged links to the Gülen movement due to their alleged use of ByLock messaging app. and having account in now-closed private lender Bank Asya which was affiliated with the Gülen movement.

Turkish authorities consider ByLock to be the top communication tool among the followers of the faith-based 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.

It was also reported that S.G., wife of Fethullah Gülen’s nephew M.G. was detained over links to the Gülen movement on Monday. Detained in the western province of İzmir, S.G. has joined Gülen’s many other relatives previously detained or arrested as part of Turkish government massive post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting the alleged followers of the Gülen movement in the aftermath of a controversial coup attempt.

In a written statement on Monday, Turkey’s Interior Ministry announced that a total of 520 people were detained across Turkey as part of the same witch hunt campaign targeting the alleged followers of Gülen movement between July 3-10, 2017. The ministry also said another 80 were detained on charges of terrorist propaganda on social media.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 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.

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 participants of the Gülen movement in jails.

Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ has announced on July 7, 2017 that at least 50,504 people have been arrested and 168,801 have been the subject of legal proceedings (investigations, detentions etc.) in Turkey in the framework of the Turkish government’s massive post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting alleged members of the Gülen movement since the controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016. Also, arrest warrants have been issued for 8,069 people, according to Bozdağ. (SCF with turkishminute.com) July 11, 2017

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