Dismissed police chief, businessman detained while escaping from Turkey to Greece, Bulgaria

The Greek-Turkish border line right on the bridge over the river Evros, in Thrace region. The grey line on the road marks the exact point where the two countries meet.

Former police chief M.G., who was dismissed in Van province as part of post-coup crackdown on Gülen movement, was detained on Friday near Turkey’s Greek border in Edirne while an İstanbul businessman, identified as M.Ş. was detained near Dereköy border gate, Turkey’s exit to Bulgaria on Thursday.

M.G. was rounded up by gendarmerie in Abdürrahim village in Edirne’s Enez district. While an arrest warrant had been already issued for M.G. before his attempt to depart from Turkey illegally, the court overseeing his case put M.G. in pre-trial arrest late on Friday.

Also, an Istanbul businessman, identified as M.Ş., was detained near Dereköy border gate, Turkey’s exit to Bulgaria, over Gülen links on Thursday.

Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government along with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement despite the latter’s denials of involvement.

With over 120,000 people already detained over alleged or real links to the movement, thousands of others tried to escape Turkey illegally as the government cancelled their passports. While many managed to get out of the country, hundreds of others have been caught near border on Turkish side.

Also, an İstanbul businessman, identified as M.Ş. was detained on his way to escape Turkey’s post-crackdown to Bulgaria as he was being wanted over the alleged links to the Gülen movement.

Turkey survived a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed over 240 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President 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.

At least 161,751 people were detained or investigated and 50,334 people were arrested in Turkey in the framework of the Turkish government’s massive post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting alleged members of the Gülen movement since the controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016, according to statistics reported by state-run Anadolu news agency by basing on information taken from the officials from Turkey’s Justice Minsitry on June 13. (SCF with turkeypurge.com) June 24, 2017

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