At least three people were intercepted in Edirne while they were reportedly on their way to escape to Greece with illegal means, in the latest of such attempts aimed at avoiding Turkey’s post-coup crackdown.
A lawyer; a medical professor who was earlier removed from his post at the Inonu University over ties to the Gulen movement; and the latter’s wife were detained near Turkey’s Greek border in Edirne province, media said July 31.
Two others, believed to be the organizers of the trip, were also rounded up and put in pre-trial detention.
Turkish government accuses Gulen followers of masterminding the failed coup and calls them FETO, short for the alleged Fethullahist Terrorist Organization. The group denies terrorist activities.
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.