A thorough check of asylum seekers on the Nemo fishing boat that arrived in the Western Greek town of Katakolo in Ilia on Tuesday afternoon was carried out by port authorities, who located among the passengers several Turks and Kurds, Ilia Live reported.
In particular, the boat was carrying people persecuted by the regime of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, including Turkish police officers, members of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), academics, a member of parliament and a journalist.
Among the 65 passengers seeking asylum are 20 Turkish police officers that are considered to be followers of Fethullah Gülen. Gülen was once an ally of Erdoğan but is now a mortal enemy of the Turkish president and lives in exile in Pennsylvania.
Among the Turkish police officers were also ten PKK members.
They all wanted to flee to Italy along with illegal migrants from Afghanistan and Iraq, with the people from the latter mostly of Kurdish origin.
Katakolou Harbor Administrator, Dimitris Papailiou, knowing the Turkish language, talked to the passengers and understood what they wanted.
According to Ilia Live, most of the migrants on the boat were hiding in front of the camera, asking the journalists not to take pictures of them.
One of the Turkish policemen seeking asylum revealed his identity.
“We are from Turkey and we were police officers,” he said, pointing to a photo on his cell phone in his uniform, trying to prove he is telling the truth.
“We have to get out of here,” he said almost desperately.
Azad, a Kurdish journalist, was persecuted and imprisoned for three years by the regime, following the fate of other compatriots.
“Prison is tough. The Turkish authorities have nothing to do with those in Greece. I want to leave for any country I can communicate in English, to be able to continue my life,” he said.
“I wish I could get to Canada, but I can’t. I have left my own people behind and I know I cannot go back to see them. But I can not stay in Turkey. If I stay I will end up in prison again,” Azad explained.
Azad reveals in the conversation that among the 65 passengers of the boat is a Kurdish MP who, however, avoids even a simple conversation, fearing for the fate that awaits him.
The same goes for some Kurdish academics who chose this way to escape from Turkey.