The Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on Aug. 10 issued detention warrants for a total of 35 journalists and media workers over allegedly using the smartphone application ByLock, used almost exclusively by the followers of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen. Hurriyet Daily News reports.
According to the state-run Anadolu Agency, nine of the 35 people have been detained so far, but the police were reported to be continuing their operations at the remaining addresses.
Burak Ekici, the current website editor for the daily Birgün, was among those detained as part of the operation against the media leg of the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ). Ekici said on his Twitter account at around 7 a.m. on Aug. 10 that he was being held at the Aksaray Provincial Security Directorate after a police raided his apartment early in the morning.
Another among the detainees is Ahmet Sağırlı, a former columnist for daily Türkiye who was dismissed by the newspaper last week.
Among the other detainees are Muhsin Pilgir, a former reporter from the shut-down daily Zaman and Cihan News Agency, Ömer Faruk Aydemir, the chief of the investigation team of İhlas News Agency, Sait Gürkan Tuzlu, Cüneyt Seza Özkan, the former news director of the shut-down Samanyolu TV, Yusuf Duran, Ahmet Feyzullah Özyurt, and Mutlu Özay, Anadolu Agency reported.
FETÖ is widely believed to have been behind last year’s failed July 2016 coup attempt. Prosecutors say ByLock app was one of the means used by members of the Gülen movement to orchestrate the coup.