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Greece Allowing 17 Turkish Nationals to Seek Asylum

December 2, 2021

THESSALONIKI — Authorities say 17 Turkish nationals received permission to enter Greece and apply for asylum there after they crossed the border from Turkey.

Greek police said the eight men, four women and five children were temporarily detained at a police station near the border for formal identification Wednesday. Members of the group had posted a video online that showed them shivering in a field next to a small campfire and requesting assistance in English.

In the video, they claimed they had suffered persecution in Turkey but gave no details of the allegations.

Turkish authorities have cracked down on alleged supporters of the U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen following a failed coup in 2016. Ankara accuses Gulen of masterminding the attempted takeover, which led to the deaths of 251 people.

Around 4,900 people with alleged ties to Gulen’s network have since been sentenced to prison, including around 3,000 who received life sentences. More than 130,000 people were fired from public service jobs, including more than 20,000 military personnel.

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