Turkish asylum seekers stranded in Greek border town post video asking for help

Turkish asylum seekers on Wednesday posted a video on social media saying they had been stranded in the Greek border town of Feres for six days and asked authorities for help, the Tr724 news website reported.

A group of six, including two women, said they had run out of food and water and asked Greek authorities to help them. Adding that they feared being pushed back to Turkey, the group said they would almost certainly be arrested upon return.

The video sparked concern among social media users, who urged Greek authorities to protect the asylum seekers against possible pushback.

The asylum seekers comprise former public servants who were summarily dismissed from their jobs after a coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016.

Following the abortive putsch, the Turkish government declared a state of emergency and carried out a massive purge of state institutions under the pretext of an anti-coup fight. More than 130,000 public servants, including 4,156 judges and prosecutors, as well as 29,444 members of the armed forces, were summarily removed from their jobs for alleged membership in or relationships with “terrorist organizations” by emergency decree-laws subject to neither judicial nor parliamentary scrutiny.

Thousands of public servants were jailed, and scores of others had to flee Turkey to avoid government crackdown.

Purge victims who wanted to flee the country to avoid the post-coup crackdown took dangerous journeys across the Evros River or the Aegean Sea. Some were arrested by Turkish security forces and some were pushed back to Turkey by Greek security, while others perished on their way to Greece.

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