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Turks detained for using ByLock 'had human rights breached' (theguardian.com)
67 points by gfredtech 9 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 35 comments

The most terrific part is that Turks outside of Turkey (here in Germany) are now censuring themselves as they are afraid to be monitored and as a result be arrested when going to Turkey for vacations and visiting family.

Wow, are we really just deleting comments from people we don't agree with?

I haven't seen any insults here, just people commenting from a seemingly pro-Erdogan perspective. What's the reasoning behind that?

EDIT: Specifically I'm referring to diminish's comment from ~1 hour ago.

Sad part is that I'm not even pro-Erdogan. I vocally disagree and vote against most of his policies/approach etc. But people on this thread want to see a black and white picture conforming to their distorted vision and can't tolerate the reality as it has occurred. Sad.

EDIT: here's the flagged comment:

Downloading the app wasn't the only reason they are under arrest. The app mentioned isn't available to anyone, but could only be used if you were endorsed by 2 members of the US-based cleric Fethullah organization. It's only "one" of the reasons people are under arrest. Most of their logs of conversation, and with whom they spoke is the main reason why they are under suspicion.

The app was used extensively during the military coup attempt, executed by the members of the Fethullah organization - which killed around 250 and wounded 2000-3000 civilians during last years military coup attempt.

Read Sedat Ergin articles on hurriyet.com.tr if you truly want to get informed about the court case against the military coup attempt. He is a well respected investigative journalist (definitely not pro-Erdogan).

[1] http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/yazarlar/sedat-ergin/darbe-sanikl...

I don't see why the post was flagged without comment.

That said, this:

> The app mentioned isn't available to anyone, but could only be used if you were endorsed by 2 members of the US-based cleric Fethullah organization.

Seems flat out wrong? Bylock isn't available in the Norwegian Google play store (or indeed anywhere now - it's been unpublished?), but appears to have been generally available?:



Note the top comment (troll):


> Should have just used Orbot any old xmpp chat client. Now we're all jail. See you next time :D

> 13. Oktober 2016

Did you think that mainstream media was on behalf of the people, folks? They are the paid workers of the government its just that they don't show it.

diminish's comment is based on reporting from a single source, Hurriyet. Based on the state of journalism in Turkey [1], I'd like to see corroboration from additional independent sources to feel confident that I'm being truly informed rather than the converse.

[1] https://rsf.org/en/turkey

Right, additional independent sources would be nice.

But it still doesn't justify deleting diminish's comment imo. I prefer to see both sides of the picture, not just the side that suits my own believe the best.

Well, this thread is clearly going to be heavily trolled by pro-Erdogan activists ..

Agreed, downvoting and flagging valid comments is rampant.

but when will turks "fight back" rather than continuing to suffer under a petty dictator who arrests them for their app use?

This dictator has pretty high popular support.

The military which had a critical role in preventing exactly this from happening was gutted.

The judicial system has been gutted.

And how we got here was pretty clear 10-15 years ago when the hardliners started taking over the education system knowing that from then on its just a question of time.

History says... when life becomes so unbearable that losing it in a fight becomes an acceptable alternative.

North Korea, Nazi Germany, The USSR....

People did fight in each case, sometimes they lose though.

Mostly due to occupation not as much internally.

What you said is true for an occupier because for them it's a cost benefit calculation and they can always go back home. For a national dictator it's a life and death calculation.

Erdogan at this point cannot step down without facing trial or exile in his future.

Sure, but look at how long places like Egypt and Tunisia stayed under one dictator... generations often decline until the tipping point is reached. Remember that in the Middle East and North Africa it took global climate change leading to droughts and economic detestation to impel the population to act.

Tunisia was non-violent for the most part.

Egypt wen't from Mubarak to defacto Erdogan under the Muslim Brotherhood then back to Mubarak 2.0 after the military took over because the MB was a nightmare.

Egypt was a much more complicated issue while force was used during the protests Mubarak had hardly had an iron grip over the people, and for the most part as far as dictators go history will remember him as someone who actually wanted to move Egypt forward he was a patriot which is a rare vice for dictators.

Wow, Erdogan really turned his "assassination attempt" into a Reichstagsbrand![0] It's quite disheartening to see the rise of a fascist dictator in the 21st century. I'm afraid for my progressive friends in Istanbul.



Fascist coup to topple the Turkish government with only 1000 soldiers? This is fake, if I've ever seen a fake coup in the history of fake coups perpetrated by the government itself in order to solidify it's dictatorship over the people. And now we live in a permanent "state of emergency", people unrelated to any religious organisation being fired from their jobs all over the country, to be replaced by collegues favored by newly designated heads of department. Doesn't that ring any bells to you? Nothing?

"People got killed, I saw it, so the coup was not done by the government" <- this is just naive. You can't possibly take over a government with standing army 2 million strong using 1000 soldiers, 5 jet planes and 3 tanks.

Also, if a fighter jet pilot really wanted to level the parliament, he would. Just think about it. It is all a big show. This is the only likely explanation. It is 1984 all over again. Everyone fears that their economy will get worse, so they try to keep status quo.

I'm not judging. Everyone has a right to fear. I'd also vote akp because I also fear losing my family. Screw courage. Just saying it is obviously fake and government extorts people using economy, and people know this.

I think the international community should implement tech export limitations already at this stage, rather then ten years down the line when they have completely cemented their dictatorship.

I like Erdogan as little as you do, but he is not a dictator; he has been democratically elected and enjoys a lot of support from most of the Turkish population.

Which makes it a bit odd to impose sanctions on Turkey; should we impose sanctions on people because of the laws that they (indirectly) have chosen for themselves?

Depends on the laws. If a country's laws contravene e.g. international human rights treaties, that potentially seems like solid grounds for sanctions.

Before we get to Turkey there are other much more outrageous human rights violators.

For example Saudi Arabia, where if you say that you are atheist you are punishable by death and will be. But instead of sanctions, US, UK, France and others do multi-billion arms deals with them.

"In March 2014, the Saudi interior ministry issued a royal decree branding all atheists as terrorists"

Here is where you are wrong.

Turkey is arguably more important geopolitically especially at this tense time in regards to Russia.

They have a large and growing economy which isn't tied to a single resource.

They have a very large and capable army and are a NATO memeber.

They are still not beyond the point of no return which a large portion of their population being compatible with western liberal values.

Turkey is a country which you can actually help, Saudi Arabia is pretty much the opposite.

Well, in a word, yeah. It's clear where they are headed towards, the next six months may be the last chance to change this.

The most critical contracts are these two (number three is state-owned):


1. Turkcell - primarily TeliaSonia (Sweden :/ )

2. Vodafone (100% Vodafone)

Dear god. All of those poor people dismissed from their jobs... Just how long before this is happening in the US?

This is basically the same behavior seen in post red scare, McCarthyism, the inquisition. It's happened before. It's happened in many countries.

Society has yet to develop a successful and long lived method of controlling it's actions in a way that doesn't grossly mistreat people (and people who associate with them) who threaten the status quo with rapid change.


If this is not satire, then it's scary.


Any reason to arrest 75,000 is a fishing expedition and very easily swept up thousands of innocent people. Nor should these people be punished for being affiliated with a political organization, even if some of the top members were involved with a coup.

Ignoring that, this article also says otherwise regarding "two members" had to authorize you in order to use it:

> ByLock was available to everyone, it had been downloaded around the world and was in the top 500 apps in 41 separate countries.

> “It was downloaded over 600,000 times between April 2014 and April 2016 by users all over the world,”

It sounds like the reaction of a paranoid despot. It reminds me of the way Saddam Hussein's government would crack down on political dissent. And of course state propaganda would be used to justify it by saying only criminals were being punished.

>>regarding "two members" had to authorize

So members of this sect give you a user name and 2 people must endorse you to get access. Also chat logs leading to the attempted coup attempt are acquired from an hacked server in Estonia.

so what about people who downloaded an app and then did not get approval by 2 others? Still guilty?

That still shouldn't make you a criminal. Especially if there are tens of thousands who did this.

If those logs demonstrated a clear connection to the coup then I'd see no problem with it. But that doesn't seem to be what is being sought here. They are trying to connect regular people, journalists, judges, etc with a political organization and punish them for it.

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