World Bulletin / News Desk
The group includes three women and four children, said the source in the capital Athens, speaking on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
The group, who are now in custody, are expected to be referred to a court due to their entering the country illegally.
Most adults in the group are teachers, while one is a doctor, the source added.
After last year's deadly coup attempt in Turkey, which martyred 250 people and injured thousands, many Turkish fugitives have fled to Greece to avoid facing charges in Turkey.
Rhodes, like many Greek islands, is closer to Turkey -- just 18 kilometers (11 miles) from the southwestern coast -- than mainland Greece.
Greece has not released the names of the 17 people, so it is not known if they have criminal records.
The group seeking asylum follows Greek courts’ refusal earlier this year to deport a group of ex-Turkish soldiers suspected of involvement in the defeated coup.