Turkey could release 1000 wrongly arrested for Gulen links
A prosecutor says some 1,000 people could be released from jail after being falsely accused of links to U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.
Ankara Chief prosecutor Yuksel Kocaman told reporters Wednesday that Gulen's movement is believed to have developed a program that makes innocent people appear to be using an encrypted messaging app which prosecutors say followers used to communicate secretly with each other.
Prosecutors considered the use of the app, Bylock, as evidence of membership in Gulen's network. Kocaman says Gulen's network developed the program to make it more difficult for authorities to trace real Bylock users.
Turkey blames Gulen for last year's failed coup attempt and has outlawed his movement. Gulen denies involvement.
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.