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Deputy governor of Karabük province arrested over alleged Gülen links

The deputy governor of the northwestern Turkish province of Karabük, Abdülhalim Can, who was detained on Sunday due to his alleged links to the Gülen movement, was arrested on Monday, the Turkish media reported.

Can was arrested as part of an investigation overseen by the Gaziantep Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office and was brought to Gaziantep following his detention.

The deputy governor, who appeared before a judge on Monday, was sent to jail on terrorism charges.

The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016 and labels it a “terrorist organization,” although the movement strongly denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

Can is accused of using ByLock, a smart phone application that Turkish authorities claim to be the top communication tool among alleged followers of the Gülen movement. Tens of thousands of people, including civil servants, police officers, soldiers, businessmen and even housewives, have either been dismissed or arrested for allegedly using ByLock since the failed coup.

Following the coup attempt, the Turkish government launched a massive crackdown on followers of the movement under the pretext of an anti-coup fight as a result of which more than 150,000 people were removed from state jobs while in excess of 50,000 others were jailed and some 600,000 people have been investigated on allegations of terrorism.

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