17 Turks reach Greek island, to apply for asylum in Greece

Greek authorities say 17 Turks who reached a Greek island by dinghy from Turkey are seeking political asylum in Greece.

The 17 are reportedly Turkish civil servants and their families who fled a government crackdown in the wake of a failed 2016 coup.

The Coast Guard said the Turks, including six children, were found Monday on the island of Oinousses, and were transported to the nearby island of Chios where a refugee center is located. They were expected to apply for asylum Tuesday.

Turkey has arrested more than 50,000 people since the failed coup and fired at least 110,000 others from government jobs. The crackdown was initially launched to deal with alleged coup-plotters, but critics say it has expanded to include other government opponents, such as academics, journalists and legislators.