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Turkey: Hundreds sought over Bylock app


Turkey

Turkey: Hundreds sought over Bylock app



Turkish prosecutors have issued arrest warrants for 243 members of the military in 54 provinces across the country.

The state-run news agency Anadolu says it is part of the inquiry into last July’s failed coup.



Why are they being sought?



Anadolu says they are suspected of using Bylock, the messaging app the government says was used by the coup plotters.

The government claims the encrypted smartphone messaging app is used by the network of Fethullah Gulen.

Ankara accuses the US-based cleric of orchestrating the attempted coup.

Gulen, a former ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has denied the allegation and condemned the coup.



Bylock



In the UK, the Guardian newspaper quotes a senior Turkish official as saying intelligence officers cracked the little-known, amateur smartphone app last year.

The app has been described as having “weak security features”.

Officials have reportedly been able to trace tens of thousands of members of Gulen’s religious movement.

The government blames it for last summer’s failed coup.

Tens of thousands of teachers, police officers, soldiers and justice officials have been purged since then. Officials say many were traced via their use of Bylock.



Turkey’s coup – what happened?



Rogue soldiers commandeered tanks, helicopters and warplanes in Istanbul and Ankara on July the 15th.

They advanced on parliament and other institutions.

The coup failed after thousands of Turks took to the streets and faced them down, in response to calls from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.



Turkey’s coup – in numbers



  • 240 died
  • 40,000 arrested
  • 100,000 sacked or suspended


*Turkey’s coup – the first trial



The first criminal trial related to last summer’s coup opened at a courthouse in Silivri, west of Istanbul at the end of December.

21 of the 29 police officers in the dock could be facing life in prison on charges of involvement in the failed attempt to overthrow the government, according to Anadolu.

Two defendants have denied the charges. There is no information available about how the others are pleading.

It is alleged some of the officers had the Bylock app on their smartphones.

The government alleges the coup plotters used the app to communicate.