Ankara prosecutor issues detention warrants for 70 former ministry staff
ANKARAThe Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued detention warrants for 70 former employees of the Finance Ministry on Aug. 17 as part of a probe into the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.
The suspects are accused of using the ByLock mobile application, which is said to have been used by followers of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, who is accused of orchestrating the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.
The app is believed to have been cracked by Turkish security agencies before the coup attempt, prompting the plotters to switch to the WhatsApp messaging service but not before tens of thousands of FETÖ suspects were identified.
The prosecutor’s office said an Ankara-based police operation was launched in five provinces early on Aug. 17 to detain the suspects, and the operations were ongoing.
Meanwhile, Turkish Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül and his German counterpart, Heiko Maas, held a phone conversation on Aug. 17, the Turkish Justice Ministry stated.
According to a statement issued on the ministry’s website, the phone call lasted for around an hour in which the two ministers discussed “multi-dimensional subjects” and “bilateral judicial cooperation.”
The ministry stated that the conversation was “constructive” and went in a “positive atmosphere.”
It added that both ministers agreed to maintain conversation and come together soon.
The phone call comes one day after Ankara sent a diplomatic note to Berlin, asking whether Adil Öksüz, a key fugitive suspect of the attempted takeover, is in Germany.
The note urged German authorities “to investigate the accuracy of the news reports and for the detention and extradition of the coup plotter in the event of the reports’ accuracy,” a Turkish Foreign Ministry official told the Hürriyet Daily News on condition of anonymity.