[VIDEO] Once praised district governor arrested over Gülen links

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local governor Kadir Güntepe

Kadir Güntepe, the former governor of the Beytüşşebap district of southeastern Şırnak province, was arrested on Wednesday on charges of using ByLock, a smart phone application that authorities believe is a communication tool between members of the Gülen movement.

Güntepe had been in police custody since Jan. 14.

His wife, released on Tuesday, had also been detained on January 14 on similar charges, part of Turkey’s relentless purge of perceived and real sympathizers of the faith-based Gülen movement.

Tens of thousands of civil servants, police officers and businessmen have either been dismissed or arrested for using the application.

Güntepe previously came to public attention after Ankara Municipality Mayor Melih Gökçek praised him in tweets posted on social media.

In one of his tweets Gökçek called on everyone to follow Güntepe on Twitter to see “how well Beytüşşebap is doing.”

“We are proud of you, Kadir Güntepe. I call on all social media users to follow him on Twitter against spam,” Gökçek tweeted.

In the post-coup purge, including thousands within the military, over 135,000 people have been purged, according to a statement by the labor minister on Jan. 10 . As of February 1, 89,775 people are being held without charge with an additional 43,885 are in pre-trial detention.

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