9 FETÖ suspects nabbed en route to Greece from Turkey

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ISTANBUL
Published 05.02.2020 19:38

Security forces captured eight people wanted for ties to Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) as they tried to flee into Greece Wednesday.

The suspects were traveling in two cars near the Pazarkule border crossing, in the northwestern Turkish province of Edirne. Acting on a tip-off, gendarmerie troops stopped the cars and discovered the suspects. All were referred to the local court, which ordered their arrest.

Greece has been a haven for Gülenists since eight soldiers involved in FETÖ's July 15, 2016 coup attempt fled there, as evidenced by the rising number of FETÖ suspects that have taken shelter there. 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 many attempts by illegal migrants from other countries who try to reach Europe.

Greece is the first gateway to escape for FETÖ members, who usually spend a short amount of time there before moving on to other European countries, Germany being the most popular choice.

FETÖ and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gülen orchestrated the 2016 coup that killed 251 people. FETÖ is also implicated in a long list of crimes, including two other coup attempts in 2013, blackmail, extortion and organizing a sham trial to imprison their critics.

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