Arrest warrants have been issued for 70 former employees of Turkey's Finance Ministry over alleged links to last year’s coup attempt.
According to local media, investigators have discovered evidence that they made use of encrypted messaging application ByLock. The app is said to have been utilised for internal communication by followers of Fethullah Gulen - the US-based self-exiled cleric whom Ankara claims was responsible for the botched putsch which caused the death of around 250 civilians.
Since the coup attempt in July last year was foiled, some 50,510 people have been arrested while 111,240, including military personnel, judges, academics, journalists, police officers, teachers and civil servants at various ministries have been dismissed from their jobs, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) said in a report published last month.
Additionally, more than 800 firms worth some $10bn have been seized on the basis of allegations that they provided financial aid to the Gulenists or had owners who were affiliated with Gulen and his network of followers.
A state of emergency, declared in Turkey after the coup attempt, is still in effect in the country, having been extended four times. It allows President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to rule by decree.
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