Turkish Dissidents, Including Policemen, Sail to Greece on Migrant Boat



Greek Coast Guard vessel. File photo

Dozens of Turkish citizens, who claimed to be dissidents of the Erdogan regime, sailed to the Greek port of Katakolo on the Peloponnesian peninsula, on Wednesday evening.

Coast Guard and police officers have been interviewing all 65 people, among them migrants and refugees, who sailed from the west coast of Turkey on a fishing boat.

Αmong those on the boat were twenty identified themselves as Turkish police officers, ten Kurds, a member of Parliament and a journalist.

The group of new arrivals is led to the local police station.

“We are from Turkey and we were police officers,” one of the group, who wished to remain anonymous, told the local website ilialive.gr.

He pointed to a photo on his cell phone, where he appears wearing his police uniform to prove he was telling the truth. “We had to get out of Turkey,” he explained.

Another passenger on the boat, who only gave his first name as Azad, said that he is a Kurd who was persecuted and imprisoned for three years by the Erdogan regime.

“I want to go to any country in order to be able to continue my life. I have left my own people behind, but I could not have stayed in Turkey. I would have ended up in prison again.”

Greek authorities say that the group intends to ask for political asylum, since they claim that their lives are in danger in Turkey.

In another two incidents on Wednesday, the Coast Guard located two boats with migrants and refugees.

Forty-two people, mostly of Arab descent, were located and rescued in a remote area at Karystos, Evia island.

Another 25 people were rescued off the island of Corfu, west of Paleokastritsa. The boat was in distress. Passengers were taken to the town of Corfu, the boat was confiscated.

Two minors were among the group in Karystos and nine among the one in Corfu.