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Turkey detains suspected Gülenists trying to flee to Greece

Turkish Police on January 1, 2017 in Istanbul, Turkey. [Kenzo Tribouillard/IP3/Getty Images]
Turkish Police in Istanbul, Turkey on 1 January 2017 [Kenzo Tribouillard/IP3/Getty Images]

Five people have been caught by the Turkish authorities in the north-west of the country while attempting to flee to neighbouring Greece illegally. Two of those detained are suspected to be members of the outlawed Gülen movement.

According to the state-aligned newspaper Yeni Safak, citing anonymous security sources, the five fugitives were caught in the village of Pasakoy in the province of Edirne near the Greek border. The political affiliation of the three non-Gülenists is not known.

The Gülen movement – known as FETÖ within Turkey – follows the US-based modernist cleric Fethullah Gülen. He is believed by the Turkish government to have been behind the failed military coup attempt in 2016.

The government has since cracked down on the movement and arrested or made redundant tens of thousands of suspected Gülenists. It has also closed down the group's educational institutions and called on other countries to do likewise. The extradition of Gülen himself has been called for.

The crackdown against the movement and its members has forced many into hiding or to flee the country, with many heading for Greece. Earlier this month, 20 Turkish policemen suspected of being Gülenists succeeded in getting to Greece in a refugee boat along with a Kurdish MP.

READ: Turkish envoy slams Israeli meeting with Gülen group member

Europe & RussiaGreeceNewsTurkey
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