A total of nine people including 4 children and 4 teachers were detained while they were reportedly on their way to escape to Greece.

Dogan news agency reported Saturday that the group was rounded up in a restricted military zone near Evros river in Edirne, a small province along Turkey’s Greek border.

The ID check by the gendarmerie revealed that detainees include 4 teachers who used to work at prep schools that Turkish government closed down over their links to the Gulen movement. The rest of the group consists of 4 children and a man, who was also removed from his job at Finance Ministry over Gulen ties.

Following initial interrogation, two of the teachers were jailed pending trial while the other three adults were awaiting questioning by the prosecutor in charge at the time of writing.

The children are believed to be handed over to their relatives as was the case in similar cases in the recent past.

Turks fleeing post-coup witch-hunt

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.

More than 150,000 people have been detained and some 80,000 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. Those who manage to flee mostly claim asylum on the basis of ever growing persecution from the Turkish government.

On Feb 13, at least three people died and five others were missing after a boat carrying a group of eight capsized in the Evros River while seeking to escape a post-coup crackdown in Turkey.