At least 16 people were detained in Turkey’s western province of Mugla after they failed to escape to Greece, media reported on Apr 24.

The group attempted to escape to the Greek island of Kos in a speed boat that was chased by Turkish coast guards off Mugla shores upon a complaint. The boat carrying the group crashed into a reef in the Kisebükü bay.

The people aboard rushed into the woods through Kisebükü shore after the crash, however they were rounded up in the forest.

The group included 6 children, 2 former judges, 2 Defence Ministry employees and 1 The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) employee who were earlier dismissed from their jobs over links to the Gulen movement.

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.

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