Turkish gendarmerie detains 3 people as they attempt to flee to Greece over Gülen links

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.

The Turkish gendarmerie detained three people in in northwestern Edirne province on Monday as they were attempting to flee to Greece from the indiscriminate persecution in Turkey under the rule of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government led by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

According to a report by Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency, the three people, identified only by their initials Y.G., B.K. and F.B., were detained in Edirne province at a gendarmerie checkpoint in the İpsala district. Gendarmerie teams also detained one person who allegedly facilitated the flight.

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 Recep Tayyip 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 them in custody.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15. 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.

Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu announced on April 18, 2018 that the Turkish government had jailed 77,081 people between July 15, 2016 and April 11, 2018 over alleged links to the Gülen movement.

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