Seventeen Turkish nationals, self-identified as civil servants and judicial officials in the neighboring country, have requested political asylum in Greece this week, after they arrived on Monday on a small eastern Aegean isle in an inflatable craft.
According to reports, the 17 Turkish nationals landed on the Panagia islet in the Oinousses complex, which lies very close to the larger island of Hios (Chios). The latter is one of two preferred destinations by migrant smugglers ferrying Third World nationals from Turkey to Greece over the past three years.
The group was transferred to a refugee/migrant hotspot on Hios for registration and a confirmation of their stated identity.
All 17 claim they face persecution and risk incarceration in their native country under the Erdogan-dominated Turkish government.
The Greek coast guard confirmed the incident on Tuesday.
The previous day was a religious holiday in Greece, marking the beginning of Lent.