Istanbul court releases daily Cumhuriyet staff member İper in ByLock case
Daily Cumhuriyet staff member Emre İper, who had been arrested on alleged terror links for being a user of ByLock, was released on Dec. 29, after an Ankara prosecutor said nearly 11,500 people had wrongfully been accused of using the mobile application, which was exclusive to members of the Gülen network.
İper remained arrested for 267 days before his release for which his lawyers had applied to court, Cumhuriyet reported.
Mustafa Yaman, a member of the Felicity Party’s (SP) Istanbul Provincial Board, was also released by a court in Istanbul on Dec. 28 after it was proven that thousands of phones were directed to ByLock servers without their knowledge after they downloaded an application.
Eleven other suspects arrested were also released on Dec. 27 in the western province of Afyonkarahisar by a similar ruling.
The application “Mor Beyin” (Purple Brain) was created by Kemalettin Cengiz Erbakirci, who is a former employee of the Scientific and Technological Research Council (TÜBİTAK) and a Gülenist fugitive.
He created the software - which manipulates servers by randomly directing mobile phone signals to the ByLock application - and fled Turkey four days after the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt, according to prosecutors.
ByLock, an encrypted smartphone application, was used for communication by the Gülenists before and during last year’s failed coup attempt.
The Gülen network, headed by the U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gülen, is widely believed to have orchestrated the July 15, 2016 coup attempt, during which at least 250 people were killed and more than 2,000 of others were injured.
Thousands of public employees have been suspended or dismissed from their posts over alleged links to the Gülen network since the attempted takeover.