Turkish government’s massive post-coup witch hunt campaign targeted the alleged members of the Gülen movement has continued on Monday with detention warrants issued by Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office for Turk Telekom’s 33 former staff over their alleged use of ByLock smart phone messaging application.
Following the warrants, Turkish police detained 25 people in Ankara province. It was reported that the detainees were dismissed previosuly from their positions in Turk Telekom.
Meanwhile, 30 people were detained by Turkish police in an Elazığ-based investigation as part of Turkish government’s witch hunt campaign targeting the Gülen movement in 14 provinces on Monday. It was reported that some of the detainees are alleged user of ByLock mobile phone messaging app.
Turkish authorities believe using ByLock is a sign of being a member of the Gülen movement and it is seen as the top communication tool among members of the movement. Tens of thousands of civil servants, police officers and businessmen have either been dismissed or arrested for using ByLock since the controversial coup attempt.
Also in a Kocaeli-based witch-hunt investigation 22 military officers, who are reportedly on active duties, were detained in operations conducted by police teams in 20 provinces across Turkey over their alleged links to the Gülen movement. According to a report by Cumhuriyet daily, the detentions were realized by police teams following the detention warrants were issued by Körfez Chief Prosecutor’s Office for 31 military officers on Monday.
Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch 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’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. Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15.