A boat carrying 65 asylum seekers from Turkey was found to be carrying police officers, political party officials and even a member of parliament, according to reports.
At least 20 passengers of a distressed vessel rescued in the Ionian Sea were police officers who identified themselves as allies of Fethullah Gülen, a leading figure opposing Turkish President Recep Erdogan.
Members of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), academics, and a journalist were also found aboard, Ilia Live reports.
The ship, which was reportedly bound for Italy, was towed into port at Katakolo.
“The Migration and Asylum ministry said that 35 of those on board were from Turkey, 15 from Afghanistan, eight from Iraq and seven from Iran,” the Associated Press reports.
“Fifty-seven had already applied for asylum in Greece, it said, adding that they would be transferred to refugee centers, while those who had no documentation would apply for asylum.”
Many of the arrivals asked not to be photographed and hid from cameras.
“We are from Turkey and we were police officers,” said one man, showing a picture of himself in uniform.
“We have to get out of there.”
A man identified as a Kurdish MP reportedly avoided all conversations, along with some academics who had arrived from Turkey.
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(PHOTO: ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images)Dan Lyman: Follow @CitizenAnalyst