Turkish courts in Muğla and İzmir provinces have detained at least 46 people, including police officers, teachers, shopkeepers over their alleged links to Turkey’s Gülen group, which the Turkish government accuses of masterminding a coup attempt on July 15, 2016.
The state-run Anadolu news agency reported that a total of thirty-two police officers, who were previously dismissed from their jobs by government decrees issued under the rule of emergency, were detained in İzmir over their alleged use of a mobile app called “ByLock.” The detentions came hours after İzmir Chief Prosecutor Office issued detention warrants for 49 former police officers early on Thursday.
In a similar development, 14 people were detained in Muğla province over their alleged links to the Gülen group.
Also, 22 out of 35 people, who were detained over alleged use of ByLock and alleged links to the Gülen group in Şanlıurfa, were arrested by a court in the province on Thursday. The court reportedly released 13 people with judicial probation while sending 22 people, who are teachers, shopkeepers, nurses, workers etc., to behind the bars.
Turkish authorities believe using ByLock indicates membership in the Gülen movement. Tens of thousands of civil servants, police officers and businessmen have either been dismissed or arrested for using ByLock since the coup attempt last year.
In a Tekirdağ-based investigation, 10 more people were arrested by a local court while 13 people were released. The court ruled for the release of 11 out of 13 people under the judicial probation. It was reported that 48 people are still under police detention in the province.
Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed 249 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 group.
The group denies any involvement.
Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15. 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.