Despite a recent interview that invalidates the government’s allegations of ByLock mobile phone application use in a failed coup on July 15, Turkey on Wednesday detained 81 police officers in İstanbul for use of the smart phone app, in a new phase of a widespread purge.
Detention warrants were issued for 125 police officers, but as of Wednesday morning, only 81 of them had been located.
In another development, former Police Chief Özcan Bulduk, who was detained in İstanbul on Oct. 19, was arrested on Tuesday on charges of membership in a terrorist organization.
Since President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the ruling justice and Development Party (AKP) have been accusing the Gülen movement of plotting the coup, presenting the smart phone app as “evidence,” thousands of people have been arrested simply for having ByLock on their devices.
On Monday an interview conducted by Hürriyet daily journalist İsmail Saymaz with the author of the mobile phone application that enables instant messaging has seemed to invalidate the main argument of the government that the coup plotters used this application among themselves since the app has not been in use at all throughout 2016.
Yet, the government continues to present ByLock as an encrypted messaging system among Gülen movement followers and collectively persecutes people despite any evidence of coup plotting through this messaging system.