17 Turkish nationals escape Erdogan regime and seek asylum in Greece

Turkish asylum seekers

Turkish asylum seekers

by Aggelos Skordas

Seventeen Turkish nationals, including children, landed on the shores of the Greek island of Oinousses (near the island of Chios) in the Northeastern Aegean on Monday afternoon requesting political asylum due to the ongoing extensive purge of the public sector, which began in the wake of the unsuccessful coup attempt of July 2016. According to a Greek Coast Guard, among the asylum seekers are seven men, four women and six children, while the majority of adults are civil workers that have suffered persecutions by the Erdogan regime.

The 17 individuals were later transferred to the port of Chios, where they remain and according to local media among them are high ranked judges, teachers and other civil servants who fled Turkey to avoid the crackdown over the 2016 coup attempt. Same sources indicate that the group said they feared imprisonment and are to be transferred to Athens within the coming days, where their asylum applications will be reviewed. Hellenic Coast Guard officials indicate that they crossed the Aegean Sea from the city of Izmir and arrived at Oinousses, two kilometers off the island of Chios in a small inflatable boat.

It should be noted that last week a 37-year-old Turkish teacher and her two children lost their lives while crossing the Turkish-Greek border of Evros river after their boat capsized in an attempt to flee their homeland to escape purges. She and her husband had been fired and imprisoned for 11 months after the failed coup.

Since summer 2016 some 1,800 Turkish nationals have filled political asylum applications to Greece, including eight servicemen accused of treason in Turkey as they are allegedly involved in the coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Earlier this year Greece’s Supreme Court blocked their extradition, saying they would not be subjected to a fair trial in their country, causing Ankara’s fury. In total Turkey has arrested more than 55,000 people since the failed coup and fired at least 110,000 others from government jobs.

GCT Team

This article was researched and written by a GCT team member.