At least 154 people, who attempted to escape to Greece and Bulgaria, have been intercepted in Turkey’s border province of Edirne over the past two years, media said.

Hurriyet said Aug 14 that Turkish military have, so far, rounded up 154 people for trying to flee Turkey to neighboring two countries through Edirne province.

The detainees were all suspected members of the Gulen movement, Hurriyet said.

The number is believed to exclude the ones intercepted by police and those who were caught red-handed while escaping the country through other provinces like Izmir, Mugla and Turkish Cypriot.

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.

Meanwhile, those who managed to escape are increasingly seeking asylum in Europe or elsewhere.

Malta-based the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) said earlier that a total of 16,640 Turkish nationals claimed asylum in 28 EU countries olus Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Iceland, all grouped as EU+ countries, in 2017.