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Turkish Dissidents Seek Political Asylum in Greece

turkish dissidents asylum greece
A Greek Coast Guard vessel leads the Turkish boat into the port of Sitia on Sunday. Video frame

A group of Turkish dissidents sailed to the Greek island of Crete on Sunday and reportedly applied for political asylum after arriving there.
The boat, carrying four men, two women and their children, sailed into the bay of Sitia, accompanied by the Greek Coast Guard.
The group say they are supporters of the Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, who lives in self-imposed exile in the United States.
Turkey accuses the Gulen movement of masterminding an attempted military coup in 2016.

This is the second time in the past several months that Turkish dissidents have sought refuge in Greece.
Last November, dozens of people who claimed to be dissidents of the Erdogan regime sailed to the Greek port of Katakolo on the Peloponnesian peninsula.
Αmong those on that vessel were twenty who identified themselves as Turkish police officers, ten Kurds, a member of Parliament and a journalist.

The Gulen movement

Over 100,000 alleged Gülen movement members have been jailed or dismissed from their jobs in state institutions since the government declared a state of emergency following the coup attempt.
Thousands of members of the group have sought refuge in other countries, particularly in Greece, in order to avoid prosecution and social ostracism.
In the latest crackdown by Ankara on Gulenists, more than than 100 former and current police and Army members were detained in Turkey early December.
Prosecutors in the city of Izmir ordered the arrest of 138 individuals, 116 of whom were taken into custody in 39 cities across Turkey last month.

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