A total of twelve people including 5 children were detained while they were reportedly on their way to escape to Greek islands in the Aegean Sea.
Media reported Sunday that the group was rounded up after Turkey’s coastal guard stopped their boat off the Pigeon Island in the western province of Aydin.
The ID check by the coast guard revealed that the group consisted of people with arrest warrants over their alleged ties to the Gulen movement, and their children.
Among the detainees are 3 teachers, 1 former district governor and 1 former tax inspector and another senior level inspector who have all lost their jobs over Gulen links earlier. The group also includes five children and a housewife.
Thousands of people have fled Turkey due to a massive witch-hunt launched by the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government against sympathizers of the Gülen movement in the wake of a failed coup attempt on July 15. The government accuses the movement of masterminding the coup while the latter denies involvement.
More than 150,000 people have been detained and some 80,000 including academics, judges, doctors, teachers, lawyers, students, policemen and many from different backgrounds have been put in pre-trial detention since last summer.
Many tried to escape Turkey via illegal ways as the government cancelled their passports like thousands of others.
On Feb 13, at least three people died and five others were missing after a boat carrying a group of eight capsized in the Evros River while seeking to escape a post-coup crackdown in Turkey.