Thousands of Erdogan critics have been investigated under the pretext of alleged use of the ByLock mobile phone application in the aftermath of the 2016 coup attempt, even though a large majority of the victims has never had the app on their phones, according to a former Turkish lawmaker.
Hüseyin Aygün, a lawyer and former MP from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), took to Twitter on July 22 to claim how the Turkish government has forged lists of people to be arrested over ByLock use.
“A few months after the July 15 coup attempt, two police officers who were jailed in Sincan prison called me. I went there to meet them. They were among those who created the ByLock lists.They told me the following: Every morning, we were getting ByLock lists and we were organizing and sending them to the prosecutor’s office and. We then started to receive lists of names ‘to be added to the ByLock lists.’ Those people had not used ByLock but were included in the lists to be arrested,” Aygün quoted the policemen as saying.
Turkish authorities believe that ByLock is a communication tool among followers of the Gülen group, accused of mounting the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt. The group denies involvement.
Tens of thousands of people, including civil servants, police officers, soldiers, businessmen and housemakers, have either been dismissed or arrested for using ByLock since the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.