Fox-IT debunks report on ByLock app that landed 75,000 people in jail in Turkey

The Turkish government has been actively pursuing the prosecution of the participants of the Gülen movement in what it calls“the Fetullahist Terrorist Organization/Parallel State Structure (FETÖ/PDY)”. To this end, the Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (Millî İstihbarat Teşkilatı or MİT in Turkish) has investigated the relation of a publicly available smart phone messaging application called ByLock to “FETÖ/PDY”, which is alleged to have been used during the failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016.

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HRD has issued a new Report on Bylock which is used as a tool by Erdogan Regime to incriminate people

ByLock is not an application that is used in the so-called coup attempt on 15th July 2016 as the Erdogan Regime and the media claims. Because this application was closed five months before the coup attempt, in March 2016.

How did a digital communication application, become a material of for the Erdogan regime the justification for arresting more than 60 thousand people in Turkey?

President Erdogan, who claimed to have learned the so-called coup attempt on 15th July 2016 (15/7) from his brother-in-law during the attempt, declared the supporters of Gülen movement as the perpetrators of the coup, whom he considered being responsible for the 17th /25th December 2013 Corruption and Bribery operations.

The “Erdogan Regime” dismissed approximately four thousand judges and prosecutors of their duties on 17th July 2016, right afterwards of the coup attempt, with the claim of being coup plotters and arrested many of them in order to establish his own judicial system.

Later on, he had thousands of people arrested. Among them journalists, teachers, doctors, lawyers and businessmen. The common characteristic of these people was being opposed to the Erdogan Regime.

Those arrests are generally justified by reasons such as writing critical columns, depositing money to a legal bank, sending their children to the schools allegedly having ties to Gülen movement and being members to legal unions and foundations.

Erdogan and his judiciary, who knew that these claims are not enough to justify the arrests, needed a new excuse to strengthen the claims why they have arrested the opposition.

Within this need, they made the perception that the “ByLock” application have been used in 15th of July Coup Attempt only by Gülen supporters. They made people believe that the ByLock application is classified, incognito and only known by the members of Hizmet Movement, installed differently to the devices and encrypted.

After they made this perception accepted by the society, the lists of names which were prepared by  unknown people in unknown dates from the National Intelligence Agency (MIT), which has no authority and function as a law enforcement agency, were sent to the units of judiciary and then accepted as concrete evidence for the alleged crimes of being a member to a terrorist organization by judiciary without questioning.

ByLock application is not an application that is used in the so-called coup attempt as the Erdogan Regime and the media claims. Because this application was closed five months before the coup attempt, in March 2016.

ByLock application was not an application that only had been used by Hizmet Movement members secretly, because it was an application that was downloaded more than 600.000 times from Google Play Store and App Store worldwide. The Bylock application, which is presented as an enigmatic, encrypted application was even simpler than the applications such as WhatsApp, Viber, Line and Tango.

But as a result of this perception, approximately 17.000 women along with their 668 babies were arrested in Turkey with the accusations of using ByLock. The number of total arrests is around 60 thousand and it is increasing. The members of judiciary who questioned this process with suspicion are either expelled or dismissed from their duties. Therefore, it was seen as a necessity to prepare this Report, aiming to show that all the announcements and procedure of judiciary and National Intelligence Agency, under the control of the Erdogan Regime, regarding ByLock are in fact to create a groundless perception.

‘Kidnapping on behalf of Erdogan- The Abducted’

The regime of Turkish president Erdoğan is kidnapping dozens of members of the Gülen movement from around the world. Victims are now raising a serious accusation: secret torture sites are part of the repression. A team of nine media organizations from eight countries, coordinated by CORRECTIV, investigates.

CORRECTIV – Germany:

LE MONDE – France:

FRONTAL 21 / ZDF – Germany:



TT – Sweden:

HAARETZ – Israel:



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