7 FETÖ terrorists caught fleeing to Greece from Türkiye

Sat, 3 Feb 2024 9:54 GMT
Turkish police this week captured seven members of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) who were trying to flee Türkiye and cross over to Greece, according to the Defense Ministry.
7 FETÖ terrorists caught fleeing to Greece from Türkiye

The terrorists were caught by patrol troops on the northwestern Edirne border to Greece on two separate occasions, authorities said Wednesday.

Elsewhere in the country, police caught a fugitive dodging a six-year prison sentence in the southern Kahramanmaraş province and an ex-police officer wanted for an eight-year conviction in the Mersin province, also on Wednesday.

On Thursday, the gendarmerie detained four others with suspected links to FETÖ in the western Balıkesir province.

FETÖ has been regarded as a security threat since December 2013, when the terrorist group emerged as the perpetrator of two coup attempts disguised as graft probes, and under more intense scrutiny since the July 15, 2016, coup attempt its infiltrators in the army carried out, which left 251 people dead and thousands more injured.

Under a state of emergency following the attempt, tens of thousands of people were detained, arrested or dismissed from public sector jobs.

Prosecutors say that the group's infiltrators in law enforcement, the judiciary, bureaucracy and the military had waged a long-running campaign to topple the government. The group is also implicated in a string of cases related to its alleged plots to imprison its critics, money laundering, fraud and forgery.

The terrorist group faces operations almost daily as investigators still try to uncover their massive network of infiltrators everywhere – from military and police to judiciary and bureaucracy. Earlier this month, Turkish police detained over 60 FETÖ suspects or fugitives in nationwide operations.

The Ministry of National Defense announced in 2022 that 24,387 Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) members were sacked since the coup attempt for possible ties to the group, while administrative inquiries are underway for over 700 others.

Meanwhile, an unknown number of FETÖ members, mostly high-ranking figures, fled Türkiye when the coup attempt was thwarted.

Many of the group's members had already left the country before the coup attempt after Turkish prosecutors launched investigations into other crimes of the terrorist group.

For droves of FETÖ members, Greece was and remains the easiest destination to flee to as a gateway to Europe, where they are tolerated. FETÖ members usually spend a short time in Greece before moving to other European countries, with Germany being the most popular destination.

Most of them try to flee through the northwestern borders of Edirne province. Police intercepted 3,739 FETÖ fugitives who tried to escape to Greece via the land border since July 2016, official figures showed, including 739 FETÖ suspects caught on the border in 2023 alone.

These fugitives, featuring expelled soldiers, judges, prosecutors, police officers and academicians, often try to blend in with irregular migrants or collaborate with other terrorist groups like the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (MLKP) and the PKK.


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