Turkish police arrested over coup-linked message app

Senior officers among those targeted over use of ByLock app allegedly used by FETO supporters

Turkish police arrested over coup-linked message app

World Bulletin / News Desk

Istanbul police on Friday launched a nationwide operation targeting 166 police officers believed to have used the ByLock messaging app linked to the July 15 coup attempt, a police official said.

Senior officers such as provincial chiefs and divisional heads are among those who have been marked for arrest in 35 provinces, including Istanbul.

The smartphone app is believed to have been cracked by Turkish security agencies before the failed coup and reportedly identified tens of thousands of members of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), which the government has said was behind the attempted takeover.

Coup plotters are believed to have used the WhatsApp messaging service after FETO members became aware that ByLock had been compromised.

Speaking on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, the official said: “The public prosecution office ordered 166 police officers to be in custody on Friday.

“The Anti-Smuggling and Organized Crime Department carried the operation in 26 districts of Istanbul and 35 provinces.”

It was unclear how many of the targets had been taken into custody.

The government has said FETO, headed by U.S.-based Fetullah Gulen, was behind the coup attempt as well as other efforts to destabilize Turkey dating back to 2013 by using supporters within state institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 07 Ekim 2016, 10:25