Two Turks facing deportation after flying to Greece in a glider

Two Turkish citizens who flew from Turkey to Greece in a glider that fell in the eastern Mediterranean off the island of Evia on Saturday have been arrested and face deportation, Greek newspaper Kathimerini reported.

The two men, aged 32 and 33, were found by Greek coast guards on a beach near the town of Karystos in Evia, it said. The pair were taken to hospital and arrested due to their lack of travel documents, according to a coast guard official.

The men who sought to enter neighbouring Greece illegally were expected to request asylum, but have yet to do so, Kathimerini said. Greek police are preparing to deport them. 

The pair told Greek authorities that they had left Turkey’s western coastal province of İzmir, heading toward Athens in a bid to travel to another country, when their motor glider ran out of fuel and fell in the sea, according to Kathimerini.

After Turkey’s failed coup of July 2016, thousands of Turks fled to Greece, including eight serving Turkish soldiers, and requested political asylum there.

Migrants are among the string of issues plaguing Ankara-Athens relations. Turkey is home to almost 4 million refugees and in 2016 signed an agreement with the EU to stem migration and refugee flows to Greece, which has become a gateway to enter Europe.

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