A mathematics teacher, identified as Ö.E., who was earlier removed from job over links to the Gulen movement was rounded up in a restricted military zone near Greek border on Jan 5.

Media said Ö.E. was on his way to illegally exit Turkey near Paşaköy village, Edirne Turkey’s border province with Greece. Ö.E. was earlier implicated in an investigation into the Gulen movement and had an outstanding arrest warrant over Gulen ties.

According to media, gendarmerie detained three Pakistani nationals, S.A, M.A. and M.A., who are accused of Ö.E. in his quest to escape, in the same investigation.

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.