Turkey arrests 10 Prime Ministry employees over ByLock use

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An Ankara court on Tuesday ruled to arrest 10 civil servants working at the Prime Ministry over their use of a smart phone application called ByLock.

The public employees were arrested as part of an investigation conducted by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office into the faith-based Gülen movement.

Turkish prosecutors claim that ByLock is the top communication tool among members of the 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. The movement strongly denies any involvement in the coup attempt.

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