Illegal crossings in Meriç River doubled
Yorgo Kırbaki – ATHENS
The number was 3,300 in 2016, he added.
About 4,000 FETÖ suspects for whom warrants based on terrorism charges were issued by Turkish authorities are believed to have crossed the river since the defeated coup attempt on July 15, 2016.
FETÖ, as Turkish authorities refer to the Gülenist network, and its United States-based leader Fethullah Gülen are believed to have masterminded the putsch.
Ankara accuses FETÖ of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, including the military, police and judiciary.
Another 560 people landed on the islands in the first four days of October, according to a statement by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Athens.
Under a deal signed by Turkey and the European Union in 2016 to curb illegal immigration of the Syrians, Greece sends migrants back to Turkey, and in return, EU countries resettle the same number of Syrian migrants legally.
The deal and efforts to stop human smuggling have significantly reduced the number of illegal crossings in the Aegean.