ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish authorities have ordered the detention of 127 people on suspicion of links to the attempted military coup a year ago, the state-run Anadolu news agency said.
In a report late on Sunday, Anadolu said 115 of the suspects including businessmen, midwives and journalists had so far been detained in operations in the northwestern province of Tekirdag. It said the remaining suspects were being sought by police.
The suspects were believed to be users of ByLock, an encrypted messaging app the government says was used by the network of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara blames for orchestrating the abortive coup, Anadolu said. Gulen has denied involvement in the attempted military takeover.
In the aftermath of the putsch, some 150,000 people have been sacked or suspended from jobs in the civil service and private sector and more than 50,000 were detained for alleged links to the putsch, alarming Turkey’s Western allies and rights groups, who say President Tayyip Erdogan is using the coup as a pretext to muzzle dissent.
The government, however, says the measures taken under an emergency rule imposed after the coup attempt are necessary due to the gravity of the threats it faces, and will discuss extending the emergency rule on Monday.
On Saturday, hundreds of thousands of Turks rallied to mark the anniversary of the failed coup in an outpouring of mass support for Erdogan that lay bare the divisions of a society riven by the widespread purges.
Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Dominic Evans