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After government’s investigation into its story, Hürriyet blames Gülen movement

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Following an investigation launched into the Hürriyet daily due to an interview the newspaper published on Monday with the owner of a smart phone application known as ByLock that seems to invalidate the government’s narrative of a coup attempt in Turkey, Hürriyet ran a story arguing that the Gülen movement was attempting to create misperceptions over its story about ByLock.

On Monday the Hürriyet daily published an interview by İsmail Saymaz with David Keynes, the owner of ByLock, in New York. Use of ByLock is being employed as a pretext to arrest thousands of people alleged to be Gülen movement sympathizers on coup charges in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15.

According to the interview, contrary to the government’s insistent claim that the coup was plotted through encrypted messages on ByLock, the application has been inactive since the end of 2015, long before the coup attempt of July 15.

Since the interview led to unintended consequences for the government and Hürriyet, the daily ran a headline story on Wednesday arguing that the minister of justice has taken ByLock logs with him to the United States to claim coup plotting by the Gülen movement.

According to Hürriyet’s story under the byline of Murat Yetkin, the editor-in-chief of the Hürriyet Daily News, their story proves that the movement used the application extensively, while employing the term “FETÖ,” an acronym coined by the government to label the movement as a terrorist organization. Authorities to date have not obtained any records proving that the mobile application was used in coup plotting, and the owner of the app said it was mostly used to share prayers and sermons.

The Hürriyet daily, the flagship paper of the Doğan Media Group, has been pursuing an editorial line parallel with the government’s narrative since July 15.

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