At least 12 people were stopped along with 4 children while they were allegedly on their way to illegally cross Turkey’s Greek border from Edirne province, state-run Anadolu news agency said Friday.

Gendarmerie stopped two cars near Edirne’s Osmanli village upon an earlier tipoff that people wanted for their ties to the Gulen movement were bound for an illegal exit from Turkey to Greece.

In the car were caught 9 people suspected of Gulen ties, 4 children and 3 people who are accused of migrant smuggling.

Anadolu said the 9 alleged Gulen followers, among them a midwife, a teacher and a former military officer who were all dismissed from their jobs were detained along with the remaining three.

Meanwhile, the children were handed over to their relatives.

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.

Some 150,000 have lost their jobs, more than 126,000 have been detained and some 56,000 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.

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