Dozens of people detained by Turkish gov’t over their alleged use of ByLock and links to Gülen movement

Turkish government has continued massive post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting the alleged members of the Gülen movement with dozens of detentions on Wednesday.

Police teams have detained 16 people in Samsun province over their alleged use of smart phone messaging application ByLock. It was reported that the detained people are also consist of students and 3 women.

Meanwhile in Elazığ province, 12 people were detained by police teams following detention warrants issued by Elazığ Chief Prosecutor’s Office for their alleged links to the Gülen movement on Wednesday. It was reported that there are public servants who were dismissed or are still on active duty among the detainees.

Police have also detained 6 people in Aksaray, Ankara, Karaman and Bursa provinces in a Aksaray-based operation on Wednesday over their alleged use of smartphone messaging application ByLock. It was reported that Aksaray Chief Prosecutor’s Office has issued detention warrants for 10 people over their alleged use of ByLock.

Moreover, 21 out of 26 detained shopkeepers were arrested by a local court in Manisa province on Wednesday over their alleged use of ByLock and links to the Gülen movement. The shopkeepers were detained by police on August 23, 2017.

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.

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.

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