The controversy around ByLock

The controversy around ByLock

The headline in one of the pro-government newspapers read: “Karakaş has been seen on ByLock.”The headline in one of the pro-government newspapers read: “Karakaş has been seen on ByLock.”

ByLock is a smartphone messaging application used by Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) members to communicate with each other. The person mentioned in the report was judge Işıl Karakaş, whose term will end next year.

The story continued as follows: “Karakaş, was the only Turkish judge on duty at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) who was on FETÖ’s encrypted messaging application ByLock.”

I guess you can see what I understood from this news: One more FETÖ member has been caught. But let’s look at the real issue in this case.

In 2015, two people closely related to FETÖ were talking to each other. Both had ByLock on their smartphones. 

The license of the “Private Feza Educational Institution Dormitory and Canteen Management Company,” a company closely related to FETÖ, was also canceled. 

The two FETÖ members discussed bringing this issue to the ECHR. “Let’s start the process immediately. This is the wife of that period’s Turkey representative at the ECHR, Eser Karakaş. Let’s finish this before his term ends,” they said.

So let’s try to answer the following questions:

Did Işıl Karakaş, the wife of then ECHR representative Eser Karakaş, speak with these two FETÖ members? No.

Was ByLock downloaded on the smartphone of Işıl Karakaş? No.

Did the ECHR issued the ruling they wanted? No.
The case was vetoed before the Turkish government’s defense was given.

Did Işıl Karakaş give an “Aye” vote? No she didn’t. The ECHR unanimously decided to veto the case.

In other words, Karakaş also voted in favor of “vetoing FETÖ members.”

So who can honestly say that the pro-government news headline conforms with the news here? 

How can you honestly include Karakaş in this ByLock news?

Unfortunately, a number of people from the police and prosecution services, just like during the now-debunked Ergenekon cases of the late 2000s, sent dodgy information to the newspaper.

During the Ergenekon case I wrote against such violations and today I am writing the same: If you keep going with this mindset, you will hit a wall in Turkey’s most justified case: “The struggle against FETÖ.”

God protected Taksim Square from ‘Seljukian Kitsch’

On the recently revealed design for the new Atatürk Culture Center (AKM) in Istanbul’s Taksim Square, I appreciated the comments of architect Korhan Gümüş published in daily Hürriyet.

Gümüş sees the new AKM building as the “reconciliation of two streams within the government.” He sees the modern box-like lines on the outside and the more traditional dome design in the interior as an attempt to defuse the tension and reduce polarization.

I also like the project. What I am most pleased with is the fact that the “Seljukian kitsch,” which has been the dominant design tendency in recent years, has not been allowed to enter Taksim with the new AKM project.

The passion to imitate the Seljuks in the modern era has resulted in a number of architectural disasters, including the disastrous deputy office buildings at the Turkish Parliament.

The conservatives’ favored Seljukian imitation has resulted in a number of truly disastrous buildings in Ankara’s suburbs. So we can say that the new AKM project is at least an improvement.

Ertuğrul Özkök, hdn, Opinion