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Turkey: 61 police officers held for using coup-bid app

At least 61 police officers were arrested after being presented before a court in Istanbul Tuesday for using a smartphone messaging app linked to the deadly July 15 coup attempt.

The suspects, who allegedly used the ByLock messaging app during the defeated coup, were charged with "being members of a terrorist organization".

ByLock is said to have been used by members of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), which the government has said was behind the attempted takeover.

The app is believed to have been cracked by Turkish security agencies before the coup, prompting the plotters to switch to the WhatsApp messaging service but not before tens of thousands of FETO suspects had been identified.

Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office demanded the arrest of the suspects, including a police chief and deputy police chiefs.

An Istanbul criminal court of peace ordered their arrest and the release of four others under judicial control and a ban on leaving the country.

Previously, 99 police officers were arrested on the same charge.

Led bythe U.S.-based Fetullah Gulen, FETO is accused of orchestrating the coup plot as well as being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.

The July 15 coup attempt left 241 people martyred and some 2,200 injured in Turkey.

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