Former Justice and Development Party (AKP) Yalova deputy Şükrü Önder has been given 6 years, 3 months prison sentence over alleged membership to Turkey’s Gülen group, which the Turkish government accuses of masterminding a coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

According to the T24 news portal, a Yalova high criminal court made the ruling with Önder’s use of ByLock mobile application being the main evidence.

Önder served as an AKP deputy in Parliament between 2002-2007.

Turkish authorities consider ByLock to be the top communication tool among the Gülenists.

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 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 group.

The group denies any involvement.

According to a report by the state-run Anadolu news agency on May 28, 154,694 individuals have been detained and 50,136 have been jailed due to alleged Gülen links since the failed coup attempt.

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