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.


All-star Mary Poppins sequel flies into view

Updated 18 September 2018
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All-star Mary Poppins sequel flies into view

  • The movie includes mixed live-action and animation scenes that are reminiscent of those that were cutting edge in the mid-1960s
  • “Mary Poppins Returns” is set for a pre-Christmas release in Britain and the United States

A view across the grimy rooftops of London? A nanny descending to earth with a flying umbrella? Dick Van Dyke? All are present and correct in the trailer for the “Mary Poppins” reboot that was released on Tuesday.
Julie Andrews, who won the 1965 Best Actress Oscar for her performance in the original, is replaced in “Mary Poppins Returns” by Emily Blunt as the unconventional governess who arrives as if by magic to heal a family in need of love.
In the sequel, it is 1932 and the boy, Michael Banks, has grown up and, helped by his sister Jane, is bringing up children of his own, in the absence of their mother.
The trailer gives few other clues to the plot of the musical, but showcases a stellar cast of British acting talent, including Ben Whishaw, Colin Firth and Julie Walters.
Meryl Streep also features, as does Dick Van Dyke who played the chimney sweep Bert with the so-bad-it’s-good cockney accent in the original. Now 92, the trailer shows him as lithe as ever, dancing on a table.
The Bert character — Jack in this film — is played by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the rapper and composer who created the acclaimed musical “Hamilton.”
The movie includes mixed live-action and animation scenes that are reminiscent of those that were cutting edge in the mid-1960s but have a retro-charm now.
The original movie was based on the children’s books by P.L. Travers who famously objected to Walt Disney’s embellishments to her stories. It was a huge success and became a classic.
“Mary Poppins Returns” is set for a pre-Christmas release in Britain and the United States.