Turkey says Gulen group used puzzle game to mask communications

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly accused Gulen of being behind 2016's failed coup. (Reuters)
Updated 13 April 2018
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Turkey says Gulen group used puzzle game to mask communications

  • More than 140,000 public workers were sacked or suspended over alleged links to Gulen under the state of emergency imposed after the coup bid.
  • President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly accused Gulen of being behind the coup attempt that took place in 2016.

Ankara: Turkish authorities believe members of the movement it blames for 2016’s failed coup used a mobile phone puzzle game to mask communications on an encryption app, state media reported on Friday.
Officials have uncovered evidence, state news agency Anadolu said, that supporters of the US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen downloaded the app “2048 Fun and Relaxing Puzzle Game” to use as a smokescreen for an encrypted messaging service.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly accused Gulen of being behind the coup attempt — a charge the cleric denies.
The agency did not give further details on how the puzzle app was used but said the discovery was made during an investigation into the Gulen movement’s structure in the Turkish navy.
Digital material seized by the authorities also showed that alleged Gulenists were using apps similar to the encryption messaging app known as ByLock.
The Turkish government has said that Bylock was used by Gulen’s followers.
Gulen, who lives in self-imposed exile in the US, says his movement promotes a peaceful form of Islam but tens of thousands of his followers have been arrested and put on trial accused of being part of what Ankara calls the “Fethullah Terrorist Organization.”
Under the state of emergency imposed after the coup bid, more than 140,000 public workers were sacked or suspended including teachers, judges and police officers over alleged links to Gulen.
Last year, the Ankara chief prosecutor said nearly 11,500 people unknowingly downloaded the ByLock app.
Following the announcement, more than 1,800 civil servants sacked after being accused of downloading Bylock were reinstated to their roles.


What We Are Reading Today: ‘Less,’ by Andrew Sean Greer

Updated 21 April 2018
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What We Are Reading Today: ‘Less,’ by Andrew Sean Greer

“Less” won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction last week and was a surprising choice because few comic novels have won the prestigious award.

The judges’ citation describes it as “a generous book, musical in its prose and expansive in its structure and range, about growing older and the essential nature of love.”

The book follows Arthur Less, a failed novelist about to turn 50.

When he receives a wedding invitation from his boyfriend of nine years ago, he decides instead to run away from his problems by attending a few half-baked literary events around the world.

He will almost fall in love in Paris, almost fall to his death in Berlin, barely escape to a Moroccan ski chalet from a Saharan sandstorm, accidentally book himself in as a writer-in-residence at a Christian retreat center in Southern India, and have a chance encounter on a desert island in the Arabian Sea.

Andrew Sean Greer began this comic masterpiece as a very serious novel about being gay and aging.

“But after a year, I just couldn’t do it,” he told The Washington Post. “It sounds strange but what I was writing about was so sad to me that I thought the only way to write about this was to make it a funny story.”