Turkish government has detained three people at the Turkey-Greece border region in Edirne province as they were trying to flee from Turkey to Greece together with their children on Sunday.
Turkey’s border guards have detained a group of people trying to illegally flee to Greece. It was reported that the detainees are including two women who are teachers and used to work for the schools affiliated with the Gülen movement which were closed by government decrees arbitrarily under the rule of emergency declared in the aftermath of a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016.
It was also claimed that the detainees were accused of using of the ByLock mobile phone messaging app. The children in the group will reportedly be handed over to their relatives.
Turkish authorities believe that ByLock is a communication tool among the alleged followers of the Gülen movement. Tens of thousands of people, including civil servants, police officers, soldiers, businessmen and homemakers, have either been dismissed or arrested for using ByLock since the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.
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 Turkey’s autocratic 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. Turkey’s Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.