Detention warrants have been issued for 121 people in the central Turkish provinces of Kayseri and Konya over their alleged links to the Gülen movement, accused by the Turkish government of orchestrating a failed coup attempt last July, the Milliyet daily reported on Tuesday.
According to the report, 100 people in Kayseri, 64 of whom have been detained, are accused of using a smart phone application called ByLock, in an investigation overseen by the Kayseri Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.
ByLock is believed to be the main communication tool among the followers of the Gülen movement.
In Konya, detention warrants have been issued for 21 military officers at the 3rd Main Jet Airbase as part of an investigation into alleged Gülen followers.
Two captains and 19 lieutenants, 14 of whom have been detained, are accused of “violating the Constitution, attempting to prevent legislative bodies from performing their duties, rebelling against the government and membership in an armed terrorist organization.”
The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office also issued detention warrants on Tuesday for 31 Ankara University staff members over ByLock use.
Tens of thousands of civil servants, police officers and businessmen have either been dismissed or arrested for using ByLock since the failed coup attempt.
The military coup attempt on July 15 killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.
Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.
According to a report by the state-run Anadolu news agency on May 28, 154,694 individuals have been detained and 50,136 have been jailed due to alleged Gülen links since the failed coup attempt.