Turkish authorities on Friday reinstated more than 1,800 civil servants in an emergency decree after finding they had no links to a group blamed for the 2016 failed coup. The public sector employees were sacked after being accused of downloading an encrypted messaging app known as ByLock, which the authorities say was used by the movement of US-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen who is blamed for the attempted putsch. But late last year, the authorities said that the app had been unknowingly downloaded by thousands of people. Gulen denies Turkey’s accusations and insists his movement is a peaceful group. A total of 1,823 civil servants will return to work, including 544 personnel from the education ministry and 204 health ministry staff. The decree also said 458 personnel from the police force could return to their jobs. Following the failed overthrow of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey imposed a state of emergency which has been renewed five times and is likely to be extended again this month. Published in Daily Times, January 13th 2018.