A boat carrying a group of Turkish asylum seekers capsized in the Aegean Sea on Saturday, according to Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, a human rights activist and pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy.

“A boat carrying a family capsized after departing from Ayvalık. Gendarmerie rescues the family and detain them immediately. 3-year old Ekrem is now in intensive care. 8-month old Gülistan (the mother) was put in pre-detention. Her husband, Erol, is still in custody in Balıkesir/Ayvalık,” Gergerlioğlu tweeted.

Thousands of people flee Turkey in face of gov’t crackdown

Turkish government accuses Gulen followers of masterminding the failed coup and calls them FETO, short for the alleged Fethullahist Terrorist Organization. The group denies terrorist activities.

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, 2016. The government accuses the movement of masterminding the coup while the latter denies involvement.

More than 150,000 people have been detained and some 90,000 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 July 19, a woman and her three children died after a boat carrying a group of Turkish asylum seekers capsized in the Evros River while seeking to escape the post-coup crackdown in Turkey.

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