Report: Four people falsely accused by Turkish gov’t of ByLock use committed suicide

Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu

At least four people under investigation for use of the ByLock mobile app, which they had never downloaded, have committed suicide, according to human rights defender Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu.

The Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office on Wednesday stated that 11,480 GSM users were found to have been involuntarily directed to mobile phone application ByLock and that the legal status of the mobile phone users would be re-evaluated. The prosecutor also requested the release of at least 1,000 people mistakenly imprisoned on ByLock use charges.

However, four of those 11,480 people have already committed suicide, Gergerlioğlu said in a column on the Artıgerçek website on Dec 29.

“Four people were dismissed from their positions on the false grounds that they had had ByLock on their mobile phones. They did not know what to do and committed suicide. Are you now going to tell them: ‘You happen to have not downloaded ByLock. You committed suicide for nothing’?” Gergerlioğlu said.

Turkish authorities believe ByLock is a communication tool among followers of the Gülen movement, accused by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government of orchestrating a failed coup last year. The group denies any involvement.

Tens of thousands of people, including civil servants, police officers, soldiers, businessmen and homemakers, have either been dismissed or arrested for using ByLock since the failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016. (

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