Ex-footballer re-arrested over ties to Turkey coup

Zafer Biryol accused of membership of Fetullah Terrorist Organization

Anadolu Agency

A former professional footballer was arrested for a second time Wednesday over alleged links to the group behind last year’s coup attempt, a security official said.

Zafer Biryol, 41, who played for Fenerbahçe, Bursaspor and Konyaspor as well as making five appearances for Turkey’s national team, had been released on bail two weeks ago.

However, he was re-arrested in Istanbul over suspected ties to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) after prosecution objections, the official said on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media.

Biryol is alleged to have used ByLock, an encrypted smart phone messaging app said to have been used by FETÖ. He is charged with membership of a terrorist organization.

ByLock is thought to have been cracked by Turkish security agencies, allowing them to identify tens of thousands of suspected FETÖ supporters.

FETÖ and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gülen organized the July 15 coup attempt, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 others wounded.

The group is accused of a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.


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