Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu's former chief advisor accessed the encrypted ByLock messaging app used by members of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) nearly 28,000 times to, a court has said.
Fatih Gürsul was detained in December 2016 as part of a probe into FETÖ infiltration at Istanbul University, where he worked as an academic. Prosecutors charged him with membership in a terrorist group and accused him of using ByLock. He was sentenced 10-and-a-half years in prison in late December 2017. A court has said that Gürsul accessed ByLock 28,066 times between Aug. 11, 2014 and Jan. 30, 2015.
A report on Gürsul's correspondence with a senior FETÖ elder shows he sought advice from the group for everything he did and shared his emails to Kılıçdaroğlu with FETÖ members. The messages between 2014 and 2015 indicate that Gürsul was ready to obey any orders from a key figure with the initials A.H.P, who is close to FETÖ leader Fetullah Gülen. Like Gülen, A.H.P. lives in the United States.
Investigators say they detected at least 256 messages Gürsul sent, which indicates that he sought advice from FETÖ on what to do in his post as a CHP adviser before a critical election. In one message, he requested a date to visit Gülen in the U.S.. In another, he said he would help Kılıçdaroğlu more ahead of an early election.
A message he sent while he was apparently abroad, says Kılıçdaroğlu sent him an email. In the email, Kılıçdaroğlu tells Gürsul he is "sad about what's happening in Turkey." "Undoubtedly, you are concerned about what is going on," Kılıçdaroğlu says in the email, according to Gürsul's intercepted ByLock messages.
Testimony from Gülenists in the bureaucracy who were detained after the July 15 coup attempt point to the prevalence of the app's use. Prosecutors say ByLock was popular among Gülenists for secret communication between 2013 and 2015, and after 2015, the terrorist group turned to Eagle IM, which offers "256-bit end-to-end AES encryption."