Turkish police teams on Wednesday detained 23 employees of Koza-İpek Holding, which was taken over by the government in 2016 as part of an ongoing government-led crackdown on followers of the Gülen group.
The state-run Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) seized Koza-İpek Holding in September 2016 over its links to the Gülen group, which the government accuses of masterminding a coup attempt on July 15.
Akın İpek, the former CEO of the conglomerate, said 18 of the group’s confiscated companies alone were worth over $10 billion.
Ten out of the 23 employees are users of a smart phone application known as ByLock, according to Turkish media reports.
Tens of thousands of civil servants, police officers and businessmen have either been dismissed or arrested for using ByLock since the failed coup attempt. Turkish authorities believe ByLock is the top communication tool among the followers of the Gülen movement.
The military coup attempt 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 statement from Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ on May 6, 149,833 people have been investigated and 48,636 have been jailed as part of an investigation targeting the Gülen group since the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey.