Turkey issues arrest warrants for 243 military personnel in post-coup crackdown

January 18, 2017 3:25 pm

A Turkish soldier stands guard next to the courthouse as a vehicle transporting prisoners passes at Silivri District in Istanbul, December 27, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

Turkish prosecutors have ordered the arrest of as many as 243 staff with the country’s military over their alleged use of a messaging application, which Ankara associates with US-based opposition cleric Fetullah Gulen.
The arrest warrants were issued on Wednesday as part of Ankara’s ongoing crackdown on those suspected of having a hand in the failed July 2016 military coup.
The country’s Anadolu agency reported that the arrests will be made in operations in 54 provinces across the country.
Those sought are accused of using “Bylock,” an encrypted smartphone messaging application, which the government says had been used by the network tied to Gullen.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ally-turned-foe, Gulen is blamed by Ankara for orchestrating the abortive coup last July with the aim of unseating the head of state.
A sweeping manhunt has ensued, which has seen more than 41,000 being put in jail pending trial.
Some 120,000 people have been suspended or dismissed, although thousands of them have been given back their jobs. As many as 100,000 others face investigation.
Gulen denies the allegations. Ankara has been unsuccessfully calling on Washington to hand “the terrorist” over.
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