Prosecutors say ByLock app evidence of Gülen network links
İZMİRAll people who have used ByLock, an encrypted messaging application said to have been used by followers of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, are categorically considered members of the movement, according to a prosecutor’s indictment, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.
The indictment prepared by the İzmir Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office and approved by the İzmir 13th High Criminal Court said ByLock usage is considered evidence of being a member of the Gülen movement, accused of orchestrating Turkey’s failed coup attempt of July 15.
It stated that ByLock was downloaded from a private server and entirely used for privacy purposes with a one-percent mistake margin, adding that it was impossible to download and install it by mistake.
The messaging application was updated by engineers with alleged Gülen links at the Turkish Scientific and Technological Research Council (TÜBİTAK) with software called “Turkuvaz” and published after Dec. 24, 2014, the indictment said, adding that ByLock also required a “mutual confirmation code” in order for users to communicate.
According to the indictment, a total of 215,000 people have used ByLock, while the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) has deciphered the content of 17 million messages out of 18 million sent on the app. It has also deciphered the content of 2.5 million e-mails out of 3.5 million.
Some 700 suspects out of 3,227 in the “fraudulent” Public Personnel Selection Exam (KPSS) in 2010 had actively used ByLock, the indictment said.
It also said ByLock also had three color features, with the “red” category referring to frequent users, the “orange” category referring to those who downloaded the application and occasionally used it, and the “blue” category referring to those who downloaded but rarely used it.
Early in September, an İzmir court had arrested two ByLock user suspects – identified only as Fatih S. and Okan M. - after they had been detained by counter-terrorism police at İzmir’s Adnan Menderes Airport while attempting to leave for Cyprus. A prosecutor filed a lawsuit against the suspects on charges of “being a member of armed terror organization,” demanding prison terms ranging from five to 10 years.