2,000 FETO terror members got asylum from Greece: Media
Since defeated coup in 2016, almost 20,000 members of Fetullah Terrorist Organization fled to Greece, says Greek daily
Since 2016 Greece has approved the political asylum application of at least 2,000 fugitive members of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind a defeated coup in Turkey that same year, Greek media reported on Friday.
At total of 19,653 Turkish citizens had entered Greece illegally as of 2017, most of them members of FETO, and 9,000 applied for political asylum, reported Greek daily Ta Nea.
Greece reportedly approved at least 2,000 FETO members’ request for political asylum, the daily added.
Most of the FETO members whose asylum applications were accepted live with their families and have jobs in the capital Athens, the paper said, while 697 people whose applications were rejected up to 2018 were returned to Turkey.
Many of the refugees, who are usually released after applying for asylum and remain in central Athens, did not go for interviews with authorities and want to go to other European countries, especially Germany, it said.
The figures showed a general upward trend of Turkish citizens entering Greece illegally from Turkey, from 73 in 2014, 182 in 2015, and 313 in 2016, up to 2,738 in 2017, 8,898 in 2018, and 8,017 in 2019.
But that number reportedly fell in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016 which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Just after the defeated coup, eight ex-soldiers fled Turkey to enter Greece, where they requested asylum. Turkey has unsuccessfully pressed Greece for their extradition.
Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.
*Writing by Merve Berker
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