At least 144 people affiliated with Turkey’s Gülen group were detained in two months while trying to flee to nearby Greek islands, according to state-run Anadolu news agency.
The report said that 144 were detained as part of the operations in the resort province of Mugla in September and October. Some of the suspect were rounded up by coast guard off Mugla shores while some were caught upon tips off about their departure even before they took aboard.
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 126,000 people 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.