Greece police announced on Thursday that six Turkish citizens who fled to Greece by crossing the Maritsa River, which serves as the border between the two countries, have sought asylum in Greece.
Deutsche Welle reported the story of Turks seeking refugee in Greece after becoming victims of a purge that is being conducted in Turkey following a failed coup in July. The group consists of two businessmen and their families.
The group reportedly crossed the river in a dingy and paid $1,000 for each person to human smugglers.
Greek police said that since the failed coup of July 15, nearly 100 Turkish citizens including several academics had crossed the Maritsa River.
On Feb. 5 former assistant professor at Istanbul University’s faculty of engineering E.Ö. was detained along with his family in Turkey’s border town of Meriç as they were attempting to flee to Greece.
E.Ö. was an engineering professor at Istanbul University until he was dismissed as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement, which the government considers to be behind the failed coup attempt.
Over 135,000 people, including thousands within the military, have been purged due to their real or alleged connection to the Gülen movement since the coup attempt, according to a statement by the labor minister on Jan. 10. As of Feb. 1, 89,775 people were being held without charge, with an additional 43,885 in pre-trial detention due to their alleged links to the movement.