As part of an İstanbul-based operation, detention warrants have been issued for 166 police officers including police chiefs across 35 provinces due to their use of a smart phone application called ByLock.
Turkish prosecutors claim that ByLock is the top communication tool among members of the faith-based Gülen movement, which the government accuses of masterminding a coup attempt on July 15. Critics, however, have blasted 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.