Turkish security forces detained a Daesh terrorist suspect and six Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) members attempting to unlawfully enter Greece, the Defense Ministry said Thursday.
“Our fight against illegal crossings from our borders continues,” the ministry said on Twitter.
Over 8,000 FETÖ members have crossed into Greece in the past three years, and Turkey has criticized the country for ignoring Ankara’s calls for international cooperation against the terrorist group. Turkey has repeatedly accused Greece of being a haven for terrorists who have committed crimes against Turkish citizens.
The number of FETÖ members hoping to cross into Greece increased following the July 15, 2016 coup attempt, which killed 251 people and injured nearly 2,200 others.
FETÖ was behind the coup attempt, which was carried out by its infiltrators in the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK). Following the attempt, eight soldiers, including two commanders, four captains and two sergeants, escaped to Greece after hijacking a military helicopter and landed in Greece’s Alexandroupolis (Dedeağaç). Following their landing, the eight suspected FETÖ members sought asylum from Greek authorities. Greece has rejected Turkey’s extradition request for the eight soldiers.
In 2013, Turkey became one of the first countries to declare Daesh a terrorist group.
The country has since been attacked by the terrorist group multiple times, with over 300 people killed and hundreds more injured in at least 10 suicide bombings, seven bomb attacks and four armed assaults.
In response, Turkey launched anti-terror operations at home and abroad to prevent further attacks.