The Ankara and İzmir Chief Public Prosecutor’s Offices have ordered the detention of 83 suspects on accusations of using ByLock, a smartphone application that Turkish authorities believe was used among followers of the faith-based Gülen movement, which is accused by the government of orchestrating a 2016 coup.
Although the Gülen movement strongly denies any involvement in the 2016 failed coup, the Turkish government started a massive crackdown on the group, detaining over half a million people for their alleged ties to the movement.
In December Turkey’s interior minister announced that there were more than 90,000 ByLock users in the country.
The UN Human Rights Council’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention stated in October that detention, arrest and conviction based on ByLock use in Turkey violated of Articles 19, 21 and 22 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The working group examined an application submitted by Mestan Yayman, a former vice governor of Antalya province who was dismissed by a government decree on Aug. 29, 2016 due to Gülen links.