At least 8 people were detained in Turkey’s border province of Edirne while they were on their way to escape to Greece, media reported on Mar 7.

State-run Anadolu news agency said the group of 8 were caught near Edirne’s Kesan district.

The detainees included academics, public workers and a former editor of the now-defunct Zaman newspaper, according to Anadolu.

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 60,000 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.