ATHENS – Two Turkish citizens who flew from Turkey to Greece in a motor glider that fell in the sea off the Greek island of Evia late Saturday have been arrested and face deportation, government officials said on Monday.
The Greek coast guard found the two men, ages 32 and 33, on a beach near the town of Karystos on the island of Evia. They were taken to hospital and arrested as they did not have any travel documents, a Greek coast guard official said.
Greek media reported that they were likely to request asylum, but police and government officials told Reuters they have not yet make that request. Police are preparing to deport them.
The two men told authorities that they had left the coastal city of Izmir in Turkey and headed toward Athens in order to travel to another country, but their motor glider ran out of fuel and fell in the sea.
They were assisted by local fishermen, who witnessed the incident, the coast guard said in a statement.
Greek authorities did not find the motor glider.
Eight Turkish soldiers requested political asylum in Greece in 2016, fleeing Turkey in a military helicopter after a failed coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Greece has served as a gateway to the European Union for migrants. Most of them make the short but precarious sea journey from Turkey to Greece’s islands, while others seek entry into the country from its land border with Turkey.
A migrant woman was killed when she tried to cross the Evros River, which divides Greece from Turkey, police said on Sunday. The woman was shot at close range, according to a coroner, but it was unclear who had fired.