Turkish police teams on Monday detained at least 51 individuals on accusations that they use a smart phone application known as ByLock, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
In Merzifon, a total of 17 public servants and lawyers were detained early on Monday and 4 of those were put in pre-trial detention later the same day while the remaining 13 released pending trial.
The detainees are as follows: K.K., N.K., A.K., Y.Ş., O.A., N.Ç., M.E., M.B., A.Y., M.A., H.M., M.A., H.T., F.K., M.E., S.S., K.K.
A local newspaper also reported that among the arrestess in Merzifon were a lawyer named Nevzat Erkek and a family doctor named Ömer Akkurt.
In Kahramanmaraş, police detained 25 people in on similar charges. The Kahramanmaraş Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued detention warrants for 25 alleged ByLock users, including dismissed civil servants and merchants, as part of an investigation into the faith-based Gülen movement, which is accused by the Turkish government of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.
In a similar vein, police detained 9 people in Yozgat on accusations that they use the same smart phone application known as ByLock.
Turkish authorities believe using ByLock is a sign of being a Gülen follower as they see the mobile phone application as the top communication tool among the group.
Tens of thousands of civil servants, police officers and businessmen have either been dismissed or arrested for using ByLock since the failed coup attempt.
The military coup attempt on July 15 killed 249 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement and 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.