At least seventy-five civilians have been sent by Turkish courts to jail in four major Turkish provinces over alleged links to the Gülen movement, which the Turkish gov’t accuses of masterminding a coup attempt on July 15, 2016.
In Kayseri, ten businessmen were sent to prison on Saturday over their alleged use of a smart phone application known as ByLock .
The arrestees are identified as follows: S.A. E.M.B., S.S., B.E. F.K., S.F.S. M.G.U., F.K., M.C., and O.K.
In a similar vein, at least 16 civilians were jailed over similar charges in Manisa, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
ByLock is considered by Turkish authorities to be the top communication tool among followers of the faith-based Gülen movement, which is accused by the government of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.
Tens of thousands of civil servants, police officers and businessmen have either been dismissed or arrested for using ByLock since the failed coup attempt.
In Ankara, a total of 39 people, including businessmen, houseviwes were arrested by an Ankara penal court of peace on Saturday.
In Kahramanmaraş, at least 12 people, including one high-ranking military officer who was reportedly dismissed from Turkish military after the coup attempt, were sent to jail over alleged links to the movement.
All arrestees are accused of membership in an “armed terrorist organization.”
The military coup attempt on July 15 killed over 240 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.
The movement denies any involvement.
In the currently ongoing post-coup purge, over 135,000 people, including thousands within the military, have been purged due to their real or alleged connection to the Gülen movement, according to a statement by the labor minister on Jan. 10. As of March 1, 93,248 people were being held without charge, with an additional 46,274 in pre-trial detention.
A total of 7,316 academics were dismissed, and 4,070 judges and prosecutors were purged over alleged coup involvement or terrorist links.