Former HDP Deputy Flees Turkey for Greece to Escape Prosecution
Over 3,000 Turkish Nationals Apply for Asylum in Greece Within 2 Years
Former People’s Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Leyla Birlik, who is reportedly under a travel ban in Turkey, has escaped the country to flee to Greece.
According to local news platforms, Birlik surrendered to Greek authorities on August 23 near the town of Alexandroupolis. She was taken into custody. However, as her application is examined, she was released, Greek media reports.
Birlik was sentenced in January to 21 months in prison for insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. She was also arrested in 2016 over terror-related charges. Later, she was released but was banned from leaving Turkey.
According to Greek Immigration Ministry data, a total of 3,189 Turkish nationals have applied for asylum in Greece in the last two years. The figure was around 100 in the three-year period before the coup occurred in Turkey on July 15, 2016.
In July alone, 687 Turks applied for asylum in Greece, while more Turks were trying to reach western Europe for asylum applications.
The Turkish government started a crackdown after the foiled coup that led to the dismissal of nearly 140,000 civil servants and investigations into some 400,000 citizens on “terrorism” charges.
The government accuses the Gulen movement of orchestrating the failed putsch, although the movement strongly denies any involvement.