15 get life sentences over FETO links

Fifteen people including two former army officers were jailed for life on Friday for membership of the terrorist group that organized last year's defeated coup attempt.

Brig. Gen. Ekrem Caglar and former gendarmerie commander Murat Orhan, who were dismissed from the military in the wake of the coup bid, were among members of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) who received life sentences for attempting to overthrow the constitutional order by violence.

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the July 15 coup attempt that left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Separately, a total of 293 more people imprisoned on suspicion of using the encrypted ByLock mobile app linked to FETO were released Friday.

Their release follows an announcement Wednesday that some alleged ByLock users had been unwittingly directed to the app.

Among them were a former football coach of Sakaryaspor, Saban Yildirim, and Yunus Emre Iper, an accountant for the Cumhuriyet newspaper.

Iper was among 201 people, including teachers, lawyers, soldiers and police officers, released in Istanbul.

Investigators have discovered that 11,480 smartphone users were directed to ByLock app without their knowledge, an official said on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media.

They have been removed from an updated list of ByLock users passed to prosecutors across Turkey and courts have been told to reexamine cases.

Source: Anadolu Agency