A Turkish court indictment ruled that some 5,000 academics have deposited cash in Bank Asya after an order from U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen. After the July 2016 coup attempt Bank Asya was seized by the state over its links to the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ). The prosecutor of the case decided 15 years in prison for a total of 83 academics, of whom 21 are currently arrested. Some 33 of the suspects were alleged users of ByLock, an encrypted smartphone app that came to prominence after it revealed Gülenists used it to plan the coup. According to the indictment, the Gülen movement sent messages to senior members of the group on social media, ordering them to deposit cash in Bank Asya.
Bank Asya clients are battling help the Turkish lender against what they say is a government-orchestrated bid to scuttle it. Turkish social networking sites are full of customer’s notices to raise funds to “Save Bank Asya from sinking!” The Islamic lender has more than a million deposit-holding customers and 282 branches. President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an targeted it as part of his attacks on the Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen. Erdo?an has long accused Gülen - now based in the United States - of seeking to overthrow him.