At least 45 people were detained in Turkish Cypriot while they were reportedly on their way to escape from Turkish government’s post-coup crackdown to Greece.
Local sources confirmed Saturday that police in the Kyrenia district of the Turkish Cypriot rounded up 19 men, 9 women and 17 children.
The suspects, among them teachers and military officers who were removed from their jobs over ties to the Gulen movement, were caught just before they left Kyrenia to Greece in a boat.
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.