Turkish security forces arrested 36 terror suspects trying to flee to Greece through illegal means over the last three months, security sources said on Friday.

Some 22 suspected members of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and 14 PKK terror group suspects were held by the Turkey’s border security units in 2021, said the sources on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

There has been an increase in the number of FETO members caught trying to escape to Greece, which terrorist organizations PKK and far-left DHKP-C members consider as a “safe haven”.

Meanwhile, the security forces also caught a total of 5,867 people trying to illegally cross the country’s borders last month.

The border security forces also foiled several smuggling bids, seizing 19,346 packs of cigarettes, 116 kilograms (255 pounds) of drugs and 350 various weapons during the operations.

FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,734 injured.

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.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US, and the EU — has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people including women, children, and infants. YPG is its Syrian branch.

*Writing by Jeyhun Aliyev

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