Zeliha Esra Karayeğen, the 21-year-old daughter of former Zaman daily editor İbrahim Karayeğen, who has been in pretrial detention since July of last year, was arrested by a court on Friday for having an account in the government-shuttered Bank Asya and for downloading the ByLock application, believed by authorities to be a communication tool among followers of the Gülen movement, which is accused of being behind a failed coup last year.
According to the TR724 website, the İstanbul 14th Penal Court of Peace ruled on Friday for the arrest of Zeliha Esra for downloading ByLock to a telephone number that she bought for her little sister and having a bank account at Bank Asya, which was opened by her father for her tuition when she was 18.
Although Zeliha Esra and her lawyer demanded the opportunity to present a defense against the accusations, the judge said it was “not necessary” and ruled for her arrest.
Former Zaman daily newsroom editor İbrahim Karayeğen disappeared immediately after a failed coup on July 15, 2016. His family and friends searched for him for weeks through the authorities. It later came to light that Karayeğen was among the first journalists who were imprisoned on the night of the coup attempt. Since then, he has been in pretrial detention in İstanbul’s Silivri Prison.
The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding the failed coup and has launched a widespread witch-hunt against its followers, despite the fact that the movement’s inspiration, US-based Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, has denied any involvement.