No current ministers, lawmakers among ByLock users: Turkish deputy PM

No current ministers, lawmakers among ByLock users: Turkish deputy PM

No current ministers, lawmakers among ByLock users: Turkish deputy PM

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Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli has said there are no currently active ministers or lawmakers among users of the ByLock messaging app, commenting on the suspensions and dismissals carried out with state of emergency decrees. 

Smartphone messaging application ByLock came to prominence after it emerged that it was used by the movement of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, widely believed to have been behind the failed July 15, 2016 coup attempt.

Turkey declared a state of emergency after the thwarted coup and has been issuing emergency decrees ever since. 

“We have no concrete information on active lawmakers and ministers using ByLock. In other words, there are no ministers or lawmakers who use ByLock,” Canikli told private broadcaster TGRT Haber on May 10, commenting on main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s claims that there are ByLock users on duty within the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

“If such a thing existed, we would do what is necessary when we receive information and evidence ... But when it’s not concrete, it is being shared [by Kılıçdaroğlu] with the public for other purposes,” he added.

The CHP head had said there are ByLock user deputies in the AKP, claiming that the party was not taking necessary action against them. 

Canikli, however, said Kılıçdaroğlu had not even conveyed any information regarding the issue to the government. 

He also shared numbers of people in senior positions suspended and dismissed with state of emergency decrees.  

According to Canikli, two members of the Constitutional Court, 131 members of the Supreme Court, 43 members of the Council of State and five members of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK), were suspended and dismissed as part of the struggle against the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).

“Two generals, 10 lieutenant generals, six major generals, 148 brigadier generals, 24 governors, 101 deputy governors, 115 district governors, 712 professors, 837 associate professors, 1,356 assistant professors, one undersecretary, four deputy undersecretaries, two vice chairmen, two chairmen, eight supreme board members, eight general managers and 188 department heads were also suspended and dismissed,” he added. 

Canikli also stated that 3,821 dismissals and 558 suspensions had been carried out within the judiciary.