Turkish police detain 34 over alleged Gülen links

Turkish police on Tuesday detained 34 people accused of membership in an outlawed Islamist group accused of attempting to carry out a coup in July 2016, Sabah newspaper reported.

The suspects, accused of membership in the Gülen movement, were taken into police custody in 12 provinces across the country after 40 detention warrants were issued by the İstanbul Public Prosecutor’s Office, it said. Police are searching for the remaining four suspects.

Since the failed coup attempt of July 15, 2016,  Turkish authorities have imprisoned thousands they suspect of being members of the Gülen movement. Many more have lost their jobs for similar reasons, whilst assets worth billions of dollars have been seized from businesses connected to the group.

Six of the suspects taken into police custody are accused of using the encrypted communication app called ByLock, it quoted the Ankara Public Prosecutor’s Office as saying. 

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.