Yet another 5 people were stopped while fleeing Turkey to Greece where thousands of Turkish people have been seeking relief from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s post-coup crackdown.
Media reported Saturday that a group of 5 was rounded up near Evros river in Edirne, a small province along Turkey’s Greek border.
A background check by the gendarmerie revealed that all members of the group except for the child were earlier blacklisted for their alleged use of ByLock.
Turkish authorities believe that ByLock is a communication tool among followers of the Gülen movement, accused of mounting the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt. The movement denies involvement.
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. Those who manage to flee mostly claim asylum on the basis of ever growing persecution from the Turkish government.
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.