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Yeni Asya editor arrested over ByLock accusations

Naciye Nur Ener, editor and correspondent of newspaper Yeni Asya, was detained and kept at the police station for three days after her house was raided by authorities, according to reports in Turkish media.

Yeni Asya is a conservative paper but the editorial of the paper is critical of the AKP government.

Police claimed that the official reason for Nur Ener’s arrest was due to a letter written by an old acquaintance that made unfounded accusations that she used ByLock. Officials have accepted this letter as concrete evidence of Ener’s guilt, even though the friend, who has been identified only as M.B., admitted that she regretted writing the letter.

ByLock is a phone communication app, which is claimed to be used widely among Gulen followers between roughly 2014 and 2016.

Ener said the following in her statement: “I have never used ByLock. Another friend E.N.K who stayed with me in Istanbul and Izmir, used my mobile phone while hers was broken. I don’t know whether or not she used ByLock on my phone without my knowledge. I lived with M.B. in the same student dormitory for a short period of time. Then I moved out to live by myself.”

Ener then went on to add: “When M.B. wasn’t able to get in touch with the others who were living in that house, she got angry and denounced me. There hasn’t been anyone in my family who has become a member of a terrorist organisation. I don’t have any ties with the July 15 coup. I deny all accusations and want to be free.”

However, the court decided to arrest Ener and placed her in Bakırköy’s Women Prison.

Ener’s arrest follows larger crackdown on alleged ByLock users at the beginning of February, in which 235 people were detained across the country and 91 were sent to jail. Officials claim that the ByLock smart phone application was used by members of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) to organize and carry out the attempted coup on July 15.

Ebru Aksay

Editor: Leyla Amur Magdalena

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