İstanbul police have detained at least 41 university students in midnight raids over alleged link to the Gulen group, which the government accuses of masterminding coup attempt in 2016. The group denies any involvement.

According to Turkish journalist Sevinç Özarslan, detainees have been denied family and lawyer visits for 24 hours.

The suspects are accused of using ByLock, an encrypted mobile app that the Turkish prosecutors say once top communication among the followers of the Gulen group.

The Turkish government blames the Gulenists for the July 15, 2016 failed coup while the latter denies involvement.

More than 150,000 people including thousands of academics and university personnel have lost their jobs over Gulen links since the summer of 2016.