Amid frenzy of conspiracy theories, Greek media claim Turkey may be behind deadly fires
KOMOTINI - Anadolu Agency
Greek newspapers have reported conspiracy theories regarding last week’s deadly fires, including one that accused Turkey of sabotage.
Athens-based daily Eleftheri Ora reported on July 31 that “some circles close to the Greek government spread scenarios that Turkish spies used Russian technology to start a fire in the Mati region, where eight former Turkish soldiers who are accused by Ankara as putschists were held.”
The newspaper added that it could also be a false flag attack, organized by Americans, to accuse Turkey “because it became too close with Russia.”
The Turkish soldiers had arrived in Greece aboard a military helicopter hours after the botched putsch on July 15, 2016.
In January, the Greek Supreme Court ruled against extraditing the former soldiers, who were released in another ruling last month, triggering a diplomatic crisis between Athens and Ankara.
Greek newspaper Vradini reported on July 29 that the suspected putschists were evacuated from the Agios Andreas military base near the fire-hit Mati region last week.
Greek authorities refuse to reveal the current whereabouts of the suspected Turkish putschists.
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Greece’s deadliest fire began a week ago in the coastal resort, which is 30 kilometers (17 miles) east of Athens, and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has been attacked by opposition parties for the government’s handling of the disaster, which killed at least 91 and left dozens injured.
Other conspiracy theories cited by Greek newspapers on July 31 also blamed “foreign powers” over the fire.
Daily Kontra News claimed the fire was the result of an “organized plan to destabilize Greece.“
While the news website Attikanea blamed NASA for starting the fire by using its “laser-beaming satellites,” Megas Filippos, another website, reported that “Americans used DEW type energy weapons on Greece.”
Conspiracy theories cited over the fire also include one targeting “the Rothschild family that wanted to burn Greece.”
Previously, a Greek cleric had claimed the fire was divine punishment “because Tsipras is an atheist.”