Three fugitive suspects wanted for ties to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) were captured Monday near Turkey's border with Greece.
Border troops patrolling the border discovered that three men were trying to sneak into Greece from a village in the northwestern Turkish province of Edirne. The suspects were identified as a former teacher and two court clerks. All had ongoing trials on charges of being members of a terrorist organization and had been released pending trial earlier.
Greece turned into a haven for Gülenists after eight soldiers involved in FETÖ's July 15, 2016 coup attempt fled there, as the rising number of FETÖ suspects taking shelter there shows. Some FETÖ members have chosen to reside in Greece, while others wait for the processing of their asylum requests or look for ways to enter other European countries via Greece. Turkish border patrols have stopped hundreds of FETÖ members since the coup attempt as they tried to cross into Greece via the Meriç (Evros) River that divides the land border of the two countries. Security measures are already tight on the border, which is also the scene of attempts by illegal migrants from other countries who try to reach Europe. Among those caught on the border were three judges who helped FETÖ imprison its critics in sham trials and a prosecutor who is accused of using forged evidence to imprison military officers in another sham trial. Figures from Greek authorities show more than 5,700 Turks applied for asylum in Greece between July 2016 and October 2018, a number far higher than the 100 between 2013 and 2015.