Turkish prosecutor overseeing ByLock probe detained for using same mobile app

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Konya police have detained a prosecutor who has been in charge of investigating sympathizers of the Gülen movement over use of the ByLock mobile application, after discovering that he also used the same app.

The prosecutor, Fatih S., is said to have ordered the arrest of 24 people in a ByLock probe in Konya the day before he was taken into custody on the same accusation on Friday.

The Turkish government claims that ByLock is the top communication tool among members of the movement, which it accuses of masterminding a coup attempt on July 15. Critics, however, have blasted the government for detaining thousands simply for using a mobile application.

A high criminal court in Hatay has recently said that use of the ByLock application alone cannot be considered a crime. The court added that it is not known when the suspects downloaded the application, with whom they communicated using it and what the content of their conversations was, saying that they cannot be accused simply for downloading ByLock.

Yet, 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.(Turkey Purge)

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