12 people detained as they allegedly flee from Turkey to Greek island

Twelve people were detained while they were allegedly on their way to escape from Turkish government’s massive post-coup witch hunt targeting the followers of the faith-based Gülen movement to Greek island Rodos.

It was reported that coastguards stopped a boat on Saturday off the shores of Fethiye district of Muğla province and rounded up the suspected individuals over their alleged links to the Gülen movement.

Detainees included former teachers and police officers who were earlier dismissed over their alleged ties to the movement, and two children. According to Turkish media, arrest warrants were earlier issued for nine of those detained.

Many people have tried to escape from Turkey via illegal ways as the government cancelled their passports. Turkish police have seized 4,806 passports and detained 132 people only at İstanbul Atatürk Airport as part of  witch hunt tageting alleged followers of the Gülen movement. Turkish government has confiscated over 50,000 passports including those held by the relatives of journalists living in exile.

Thousands of people have been trying to escape from Turkey because the widespread torture, ill-treatment, abusive, inhuman and degrading treatment of detained or arrested people who are deprived of their liberties in Turkey’s detention centers and prisons have become a norm rather than an exception under increased nationalistic euphoria and religious zealotry in the country,  a report by Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has revealed on June.

According to a report by state-run Anadolu news agency on July 14, 2017, 36 people were detained by gendarmerie forces as they were trying to flee to Europe since a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016. Turkish soldiers stationed on the Turkish side of the Greek and Bulgarian borders have detained 36 people from allegedly fleeing to Europe. Among the detainees, who were under travel bans, were ex-soldiers, academics, teachers, police officers, housewives and doctors.

A controversial military coup attempt on July 15 killed over 240 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting participants of the Gülen movement in jails.

According to a statement from Turkey’s Justice Ministry on July 13, a total of 50,510 people have been arrested while 169,013 others have been the subject of legal proceedings since the failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016 on coup charges. (SCF with turkeypurge.com) July 14, 2017

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