Turkish authorities have arrested at least 115 people who they suspect of being involved in last year's failed military coup and having links with the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).

The suspects include journalists, midwives, academics and businessmen, according to Turkish news agency Anadolu.

The Public Prosecutor's Office in Tekirdag has issued arrest warrants for 127 people on suspicion of having ties with the military coup of 15 July 2016, a police source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told the news outlet.

At least 115 people have so far been arrested and police are searching for the remaining suspects.

The suspects are accused of using the Bylock messaging app, which the Turkish government says was used by followers of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan blames Gulen for orchestrating last year's coup, which resulted in almost 250 dead and more than 2,000 people injured. Gulen has denied any involvement in the attempted takeover.

The government has since led a crackdown on suspected coup supporters, arresting around 50,000 people and suspending more than 150,000 working in the civil service and private sector. Academics and human rights activists have been detained, including Amnesty International's Turkey director Idil Eser.

"We have crossed a new threshold," said Andrew Gardner, Amnesty's researcher on Turkey, following Eser's arrest. "Under the post-coup attempt crackdown, there has been a huge number of assaults on civil society, critical journalists and the political opposition. But this is a direct attack on the backbone of human rights."

"The detention marks a new low in the rapidly decreasing status of human rights in Turkey," said Melody Patry, head of advocacy at Index on Censorship. "By detaining them incommunicado and denying them access to a lawyer, Turkey shows its complete disregard for the rule of law."

While activists around the world accuse the Turkish government of trying to stifle dissent, Erdogan's supporters say the arrests are necessary safeguards put in place to protect the country from the severe threats it faces.

On Saturday (15 July), the one-year anniversary of the coup, hundreds of thousands of people gathered at pro-Erdogan rallies, highlighting the deep division in Turkish society as half the country celebrates and the other half mourns.

Idil Eser arrest
Amnesty International Belgium's Director Philippe Hensmans poses in a cage in front of the Turkish embassy in Brussels to protest against the detention of his Turkish counterpart Idil Eser, Belgium on 10 July 2017 REUTERS/Francois Lenoir