Lawyer defending detained lawyer detained over coup charges in Turkey

O.G., a lawyer representing his colleague D.U. who was earlier detained for his/her alleged use of mobile app ByLock, was taken into custody over the same charges. ByLock is a smartphone application that Turkish authorities claim to be the top communication tool among followers of the Gülen movement which the government accuses of masterminding the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.

At least 190 people have been detained as part of an Ankara-based investigation into the movement as of late May 5. D.U. stopped by Ankara Police Headquarters to accompany one of his/her clients, who was detained in May 5 operation. Upon his allegedly suspicious behaviors, police interrogated D.U. as well and detained him after finding out that he uses ByLock.

Police detained the second lawyer, known by initials O.G., who arrived in the police station for D.U., for allegedly using ByLock, as well.

Meanwhile, Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen’s nephew Şamil Gülen was also detained on Thursday as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement, which the government accuses of masterminding the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

36-year-old nephew was taken into custody in Kocaeli province and taken to neighboring city of Sakarya for interrogation. Şamil Gülen is accused of being an “movement imam” for Turkish military academy, allegedly giving religious sermons to military students.

On the other hand, German newsweekly Der Spiegel wrote that at least 450 Turkish diplomats, military personnel, judges and other civil servants have been seeking asylum in Germany in a bid to escape a post-coup crackdown back home.

“Currently the Federal office for migration and refugees (BAMF) considers relevant about 450 applications from Turkish diplomats, military personnel, judges and other civil servants,” Der Spiegel reported saying that most of them are linked to the Gülen movement. More than 7,700 Turkish citizens have applied for asylum in Germany in total, according to the newspaper.

Turkish government has so far detained 120,000 people and arrested some 50,000 over the faintest alleged links to the Gülen movement. Gülen, himself, have had his several relatives jailed so far. Critics often blast the government for a massive purge it is carrying out that violates the principle of individual criminal responsibility.

The military coup attempt on July 15 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 despite the lack of any evidence to that effect.

Although the Gülen movement strongly denies having any role in the putsch, the government accuses it of having masterminded the foiled coup. Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, called for an international investigation into the coup attempt, 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. (SCF with turkeypurge.com) May 6 2017

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