At least 33 people were arrested in Turkey on June 7 as part of the Turkish government’s post-coup police sweep targeting alleged members of the Gülen movement. This followed arrest warrants issued for 77 people over their alleged use of ByLock mobile phone messaging application.
Turkish authorities believe that ByLock is a communication tool among alleged followers of the Gülen movement, which the government blames for the 2016 coup attempt.
As reported by the Stockholm Center for Freedom, tens of thousands of people, including civil servants, police officers, soldiers, businessmen and even housewives, have either been dismissed or arrested for using ByLock since a controversial coup attempt in July 2016.
According to a report by Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency, 19 of the 33 arrested on June 7 were taken into custody by police in 22 provinces including Istanbul.
Meanwhile, a court in İzmir overturned acquittals of five people convicted of involvement in a plot to assassinate Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during night of the July 2016 coup attempt. Those convicted include former Brig. Gen. Gökhan Şahin Sönmezateş, former Maj. Sükrü Seymen, and former Master Sgt. Zekeriya Kuzu. The court had also sentenced Ali Yazıcı, Erdoğan’s former military aide, to 18 years in prison.
As previously reported, Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and other civil servants since the attempted coup. In December 2017, the justice ministry announced that 169,013 people have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.
Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu announced in April that the Turkish government had jailed 77,081 people for alleged links to the Gülen movement since the attempted coup.