Turkey arrests university staff in post-coup clampdown

Turkey arrests university staff in post-coup clampdown
Turkish authorities have arrested 54 university academics and staff over alleged support for suspected 'coup mastermind' Fethullah Gulen because of the use of encrypted messaging app ByLock.
1 min read
27 December, 2017
Academics from Fatih University have been arrested in a post-couo purge [AFP]
Turkish authorities have arrested 54 academics and staff from a university shut down after an attempted coup.

Police had arrest warrants for 171 people from Istanbul's former Fatih University, which was regarded as having close ties to Islamic preacher Fetullah Gulen, state-run Anadolu news agency said.

Turkey's President Erdogan blames the coup attempt on US-based cleric Gulen, who denies the allegations.

Fatih University was shut under a state decree in the wake of the July 2016 coup attempt.

Anadolu said staff there were found to have been users of ByLock, an encrypted messaging app which the government says was commonly used by Gulen's supporters.

Thousands of people, including civil servants and security staff, have been dismissed from their jobs, arrested or jailed pending trial since the coup attempt.

Rights groups say the crackdown and extended state of emergency has been exploited to stifle dissent. The government says the measures have been necessary due to the security threats which has Turkey faced since the putsch, in which 250 people were killed.