ISTANBUL – Ankara’s public prosecutor’s office ordered on Tuesday the arrest of 85 energy and education ministry staff for alleged ties to Turkish preacher Fethullah Gülen, who Ankara accuses of being behind the failed coup on July 15, 2016.
At least 40 officials have already been arrested and the operation is still ongoing to locate the other 45, according to Anadolu news agency.
Additionally, a total of 60 officials are working for the energy ministry, while the rest are employees of the education ministry.
The 85 people are accused of using Bylock, an encrypted messaging app the government says is used by Gülen’s followers.
In January, the prosecutor’s office in Istanbul claimed to have identified 215,091 Bylock users, all suspected of being supporters of the Gülen movement.