Rebecca Harms, a member of the European Parliament and co-president of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly visited Mustafa Emre Çabuk, a Turkish school administrator who was arrested by Georgian authorities last year at the request of the Turkish government, on Thursday according to her post on her Twitter account.
Ali Ünlü, a 42-year-old former police officer who was earlier dismissed from his job as part of the government’s post-coup crackdown, died of heart attack in a refugee camp in Stuttgart, according to media and people with knowledge of the incident.
Thousands of Turkish nationals, including Gulenists, opposition members, and minorities, fled Turkey and scattered throughout the globe, particularly in Europe and the US; some educators and civil servants with actual or alleged ties to the transnational religious Gulenist movement fled to Kosovo.
“We tried to start over, but we were already marginalized in the community as ‘putschists,’” said Murat. “Our children were not accepted to schools, and finally, when 50 police arrived at our parent’s village to detain my wife, by chance we were not there. I sold my car within a week and with that money, we came to Greece.”
Now, at least 1,000 Turkish citizens are seeking refuge in Greece, according to the refugee support nonprofit SolidarityNOW. It’s hard to pin down an exact number because not many have applied for asylum, says Antonis Spathis, a human rights lawyer in Thessaloniki. The Greek Asylum Service told NPR that 186 Turkish citizens applied for asylum in 2016 and noted there has been a “significant” increase in 2017.
A civil servant: “Tens of thousands of people, educated people, academics, journalists, lawyers, and many others, are scattered around the world for different reasons and are trying to find a safe place where they can be sheltered and continue their lives with their families. The Ugur Toksoy case was the point when Kosovo’s level of safety, or its breaking point, was put to test.”
Hundred of members of Turkey’s Gulenist network have sought refuge in neighbouring Greece. Turkey accuses the network of being behind the failed coup in July 2016. And in recent months, the number of lives in exile appears to be increased as the BBC’s Cagil Kasapoglu reports from Thessaloniki.
Dominika Spyratou of the Greek NGO SolidarityNow, which provides assistance to refugees, says that more than 1,000 Turkish citizens came to Greece seeking asylum after the July 2016 failed coup, while almost 300 Turkish families are now in Thessaloniki.