Five children, 8 others detained by Turkish gendarmerie while on way to escape to Greece

File photo

At least 13 people were detained while they were allegedly on their way to flee Turkey’s post-coup crackdown to Greece, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Tuesday.

It was reported that gendarmerie stopped a suspected group of 13 people in Gavurağılı neighborhood in the western province of Muğla. When some of the group members attempted to escape gendarmerie and to avoid interrogation, they were rounded up.

Anadolu said that four of the suspects, identified as Şenol U, Oğuzhan P., Hüseyin S., and Mahmut A. were revealed to have outstanding arrest warrants over alleged ties to the Gğlen movement. While the four were detained and subsequently put in pretrial detention, three women and five children were released.

The group was allegedly on its way to take a boat from Muğla to the Greek shores

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 controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016. Many tried to escape Turkey via illegal ways as the government cancelled their passports like thousands of others.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

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 them in custody.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15. Turkey’s Interior Minister announced on December 12, 2017 that 55,665  people have been arrested. Previously, on December 13, 2017, The Justice Ministry announced that 169,013 people have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup. (SCF with

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