At least 144 people affiliated with the faith-based Gülen movement were detained in a period of two months while trying to flee to nearby Greek islands, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency.
The report said 144 people were detained as part of operations in the resort province of Mugla in September and October. Some of the suspects were rounded up by the coast guard off the coast of Mugla, while some were caught due to tips about their departure even before they boarded boats.
Thousands of people have fled Turkey due to a massive witch-hunt launched by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government against sympathizers of the Gülen movement in the wake of a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016. The government accuses the movement of masterminding the coup, but the movement denies any involvement.
More than 126,000 people have been detained and some 56,000 including academics, judges, doctors, teachers, lawyers, students, policemen and others from various backgrounds have been put in pretrial detention since last summer.
Many tried to flee Turkey illegally as the government had cancelled their passports. (Turkey Purge)