Former governor Kürklü detained by Turkish gov’t over alleged links to Gülen movement

Former Burdur Governor Hasan Kürklü, who was suspended from his duty in the aftermath of a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016, was detained by Turkish government on Saturday.

Former governor Kürklü was reportedly detained following Antalya Chief Prosecutor’s Office has issued detention warrants for him. Kürklü was detained in İstanbul during a police raid to his house and later transferred to Antalya province.

It was claimed that Kürklü downloaded the mobile phone messaging application ByLock to his phone given by the state during his duty as governor in Burdur province.

Turkish authorities believe that ByLock is a communication tool among followers of the faith-based Gülen movement. Tens of thousands of people, including civil servants, police officers, soldiers, businessmen, and housemakers, have either been dismissed or arrested for using ByLock since the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch the ruling 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 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.

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