No ByLock users among active lawmakers: Turkish deputy PM
Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli has said there are no users of the smartphone application ByLock among active lawmakers.
Canikli added that necessary measures were being adopted regarding those using ByLock, an application used by the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), within ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) organizations and former lawmakers.
“The FETÖ terrorist group couldn’t be terminated despite all our efforts. All of those who were determined to be FETÖ members were dismissed. However, the group’s ability to disguise itself is unbelievable. No ByLock users were determined among current lawmakers and ministers. There are former ones and within AKP groups, and necessary measures are being applied. Over 300 people were dismissed from AKP groups over FETÖ links,” Canikli told private broadcaster CNNTürk on July 4, adding that the “really dangerous” group continues to pose a threat to the country.
He said all known followers of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen among state institutions were dismissed.
“There may still be clandestine figures among the critical points of the state. They placed secret members without leaving a trace. We don’t know who they are, but we are doing whatever is necessary as we determine them,” he added.
During the interview, Canikli said those claiming that there are ByLock users among lawmakers or ministers should prove their claims.
“If they have information regarding ByLock users, they should share it and we’ll be happy,” he said.
Canikli’s remarks came after the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) called on the government “to disclose the political wing” of the July 2016 coup attempt, widely believed to have been orchestrated by Gülenists.
“[They should] publicly disclose the ByLock lists. If being a Fetullahist is a crime, why are these lists kept secret? It should be explained immediately,” CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu had previously said.
Meanwhile, authorities have determined a new encrypted messaging application used by Gülenists.
According to an investigation carried out by Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office regarding FETÖ activities, the group has been using the “Cryptnote” application since March, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on July 4.
A dismissed police officer, identified only as Cumali K., who became a confessor, said Gülenists were trying to get in touch with him, adding that several group members visited his house to download “a communication application safer than ByLock.”
Upon Cumali K.’s testimony, police detained three suspects, identified only as İdris D., Mahmut O. and Mutlu D., who were later arrested over “being members of a terrorist group.”