Eleven people who worked at Ankara’s Gazi University until they were dismissed over links to the Gulen movement was detained on Thursday.

Detention warrants were issued for 17 former staffers of Gazi University while police rounded up 11 of them at the time of this writing.

The suspects are accused of using the smart phone application ByLock, which according to prosecutors is the top communication tool among members of the Gülen movement, accused by the government of masterminding a coup attempt on July 15. Critics often blast the government for detaining thousands simply for using a mobile application.

Tens of thousands of civil servants have either been dismissed or arrested for using the application. Critics say the use of a technological application is not a criminal activity nor is it evidence of membership in a terrorist organization.

Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement, inspired by Gülen. The movement strongly denies involvement in the coup attempt.

More than 150,000 people including thousands of academics have lost their jobs over links to the movement since last summer.

Related News