Sergeant detained for making call from pay phone to find his cell phone

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A sergeant who made a call years ago from a pay phone to find his lost cell phone was detained over links to the faith-based Gülen movement as the Turkish government considers calls military officers made from pay phones to be secret messaging among supporters of the movement.

Sgt. A.T. lost his cell phone six years ago and in an effort to find it called his own number from a pay phone, the Sözcü daily reported on Wednesday. When there was no response, he called his roommate, another military officer,  and had a 13-second phone call with him.

Years later, his call from the pay phone was subject to an investigation as the Turkish state believes Gülen movement supporters use pay phones due to concerns that their cell phones could be tapped. Turkey holds the movement responsible for a failed coup on July 15, 2016 and is persecuting its real and alleged followers.

The sergeant was detained for using the same pay phone that previously arrested “Gülenists” used, according to the Sözcü report. While he was released pending trial, his roommate was arrested without any grounds cited by the court.

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