At least 30 people were detained near Turkey’s maritime border with Greece with most of them escaping from the government’s post-coup crackdown, state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Friday.
Coast guard in Mugla stopped a jet-ski and a zodiac boat off the shores of the resort district of Bodrum, and rounded up 30 Turkish nationals, among them 17 children, along with 4 Syrians.
The suspects had reportedly gathered to sail through the Greek island of Kos.
Media said Turkish-origin detainees consist of former civil servants who were earlier removed from service for their links to the Gulen movement, and their families. According to media, arrest warrants were earlier issued in earlier investigations for some of the detainees.
Turkish government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accuses the Gulen movement of masterminding the July 15, 2016 coup attempt while the latter denies involvement.
Turkey has already detained some 120,000 people over alleged or real ties to the movement. Amid the crackdown, many people attempted illegal entry into Greece, with some arrested near the border and, on some occasions, drowning in the Evros River, the border between the two countries.
It has become common in the post-coup Turkey that the government cancels Gulen-linked peoples’ passports, falsely registering them as lost or stolen, and leading Gulenists to attempt illegal departure from the country.