A total of a hundred high-ranking military officers have been arrested by a court on charges of using ByLock, a smart phone application that authorities believe is a communication tool between members of the Gülen movement.
The T24 news portal reported on Friday that the İstanbul Public Prosecutor’s office had previously launched an investigation into a total of 575 officers over the use of ByLock. So far, 351 of them have been detained by police and an İstanbul court on Friday arrested 100 of them.
Tens of thousands of civil servants, police officers and businessmen have either been dismissed or arrested for using the application. Recently, Fatih Gürsul, an advisor to main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, was also arrested on charges of using ByLock.
Turkey’s purge of its military since a botched coup in July has cut its armed forces by a third, according to a report by the Council of Europe adding that NATO has raised concerns that Turkey’s response to the failed coup has worryingly thinned its forces.
The council, Europe’s leading human rights organization with 47 member states including Turkey, said that over 125,000 people across Turkish society had been dismissed from their jobs as of Dec. 9 and that almost 40,000 people had been arrested.