Turkish court orders compensation payment in ‘ByLock’ app case

A Turkish court has ordered compensation be paid to one of many individuals falsely detained by police on suspicion of having been associated with the Gülen movement due to an app on their phones, according to Turkey’s Hürriyet newspaper on Saturday.

The detentions were made since Turkey’s failed June 2016 coup attempt which the Gülen movement, now banned in Turkey, is widely believed to have organized.

Those affected by the court ruling were detained on the strength of having an encrypted communication app called ByLock. Turkish authorities believed the app was used almost exclusively by the members of the Gülen movement. In the purge that followed the coup, many were detained purely because they were found to have ByLock on their phones.  

However, it has since been shown that many alleged ByLock users did not actively download the app, thereby undermining the justification for their detentions.

Subsequently, more than 11,000 people launched compensation claims against the government, saying they had been unlawfully detained.

A court in Bursa, Hürriyet reports, has now upheld one these claims, ordering that the Turkish treasury pay a teacher, S.T., 500YTL (around $100) in damages, after she was detained for two days by police in October last year after ByLock was found on her phone.