Turkey issues detention warrants for 33 ICTA staff

James Pearce
Published on:

The Turkish government has issued warrants for the arrest of 33 members of telecoms regulator ICTA, according to reports from the country

CNN Turk said the detention orders, which also included warrants for 36 people at the capital markets watchdog, are linked to operations against supporters of US cleric Fethullah Gulen.

Gulen was blamed by the government for the attempted coup in July that failed to topple president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Gulen has denied these claims.

Overall, the government has ordered 139 staff from Ankara municipalities and ministries be detained, the report said, with more than 50,000 people awaiting trial or sacked in the aftermath of the failed putsch.

A state-run news agecy claimed some of the staff had been found using ByLock, an encrypted messaging app that the government claims is used by followers of Gulen.

It is not the first time the telecoms industry has been caught up in the controversy that started with the attempted coup, after a number of Turk Telecom executives quit the 30% state-owned operator.

The two Türk Telekom executives who left were named as Erkan Akdemir, who was CEO of the consumer business, and CTO Coşkun Şahin. The CEO of Türk Telekom, Rami Aslan, took over the consumer CEO role. Both were summoned by prosecutors to give testimony over the failed coup, according to newspaper reports in August.

Turk Telecom also sacked 290 people in the aftermath, reports claimed, with a number of other Turkish companies also coming under scrutiny.

The controversy promted Aslan to tell newspaper Hurriyet that the telco had played “a significant role” in making the coup attempt fail.