Greece’s approval of coup suspect’s asylum request ‘grave,’ says Turkish presidential aid

Greece’s approval of coup suspect’s asylum request ‘grave,’ says Turkish presidential aid

ATHENS – Anadolu Agency
Greece’s approval of coup suspect’s asylum request ‘grave,’ says Turkish presidential aid

The Greek Asylum Commission’s granting of asylum to a second Turkish coup suspect asylum is a “grave situation,” Presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın said at a May 9 press conference in Ankara, a day after the commission’s ruling.

Kalın said that although Greece has repeatedly said it was against the coup attempt in Turkey in July 2016 its actions “unfortunately do not reflect this.”

“We are awaiting concrete steps at this point … But whatever their approach, Turkey’s struggle against FETÖ will continue,” he said, using an acronym for what the authorities call the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).

The Greek Asylum Commission on May 8 accepted the petition of a second ex-Turkish soldier suspected of involvement in the July 2016 coup attempt, according to a Greek official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Greek news agency AMNA identified the suspect as former major Ahmet Güzel, adding that he would be released from detention.

The commission last December accepted the petition of another ex-Turkish soldier, Süleyman Özkaynakçı, but the Greek government later raised objections.

Özkaynakçı was released briefly after being granted asylum but was re-arrested again in light of the government’s objections.

Ruling on the objection, the Greek Council of State on April 19 ordered his release under strict control until the results of the asylum petitions of all eight suspected coup-plotters are resolved.

The council is expected to issue its final verdict on the asylum requests of all eight ex-Turkish soldiers later this month.

Under Greek law, the maximum detention period is 18 months, which will expire at the end of May for the all the suspects.

The eight former Turkish servicemen fled to Greece a day after the July 2016 coup bid, which left 250 people killed and nearly 2,200 injured. They are accused by the Turkish authorities of involvement in the coup attempt and being members of the FETÖ of U.S.-based  Fetullah Gülen.

The ex-soldiers are currently being held in custody by Greek authorities, and the case has been a bone of contention between the two countries, discussed during Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s official visit to Greece last year.

Greece, coup attempt, asylum, petition