By Sertac Bulur and Halil Ibrahim Baser
Police arrested three more academics associated with the Istanbul Yildiz Teknik University, bringing the total number of suspects held in the port city on Friday as part of its probe into the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) to 76, a police source said.
In total, the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued 103 arrest warrants for the suspects accused of using "the ByLock messaging app linked to the July 15 coup attempt" and for "being members of an armed terrorist organization," the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to media, said.
The smartphone app is believed to have been cracked by Turkish security agencies before the foiled coup and reportedly identifies tens of thousands of FETO members, which the government blames for the attempted takeover.
The July 15 defeated coup had left 248 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
The government accuses FETO leader Fetullah Gulen of being the mastermind behind the coup attempt and a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary, forming what is commonly known as the “parallel state”.
Gulen has been living in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania since 1999.
Turkey is currently under a state of emergency following the defeated coup and had the order extended for three more months from Oct. 19.