A Turkish family that was facing imprisonment on trumped-up terrorism charges as part of a crackdown launched by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the aftermath of a coup attempt in 2016 and was pushed back by Greece after they fled across the border have been arrested by Turkish authorities.
“This Turkish girl and her family, who crossed from Turkey to the Dimetoka region of Greece yesterday and asked for help from the Greek authorities, were illegally deported by the Greek Police and arrested in Turkey today,” tweeted Mehmet Ali Uludağ, a human rights activist and social media user.
The family is accused the family of having links to the Gulen group, which the Turkish government accuses the Gülen group of masterminding the coup attempt on July 15, 2016 and labels it a “terrorist organization.” The group strongly denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.
Purge victims who wanted to flee the country to avoid the post-coup crackdown took dangerous journeys across the Evros River or the Aegean Sea. Some were arrested by Turkish security forces, some were pushed back to Turkey by Greek security forces and others perished on their way to Greece.
According to data collected by The Guardian based on reports from United Nations agencies as well as the databases of civil society organizations, European countries pushed back 40,000 migrants, forcibly in most cases, between January 2020 and May 2021, and more than 2,000 migrants died during these pushbacks.
The pushback policy was supported by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) and has become systematic as the migrants, including children, who escaped wars were sent back, the daily reported.
A total of 6,230 pushbacks by Greece took place between January 2020 and May 2021, according to a report by the Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN).
This Turkish girl and her family, who crossed from Turkey to the Dimetoka region of Greece yesterday and asked for help from the Greek authorities, were illegally deported by the Greek Police and arrested in Turkey today. @stoppushback @RebHarms @RefugeesUnknown @TerryReintke pic.twitter.com/Z12sstQZU1
— Mehmet Ali Uludağ (@MAliuludag_) August 12, 2022