Greece becomes an accomplice to Turkey’s coup attempt
The Greek High Court has ruled not to extradite eight officers who flew a military helicopter to Greece on the night of the failed coup on July 15, 2016 and demanded political asylum. Rejecting the return of the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) coup plotters, the court based its decision on the grounds that they would be subject to mistreatment in Turkey and that human rights come above other considerations.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras stated that the judiciary in Greece is independent and court decisions are binding for everybody. In a sense this reflects his “content” with the ruling.
It is clear that the ruling of the Greek High Court was not legal but rather political. If the Greek justice system had handled the incident from a purely legal point of view, it would have extradited the eight coup plotting officers to Turkey without hesitation. However, it based its decision mostly on politics and opted to reject the extradition demand.
Greece thus neglected the extradition agreement between Greece and Turkey once again, as it has done in the past. What’s more, it based its ruling in favor of the coup plotters with justifications that it has “incriminating” implications against Turkey.
The legal case in Greece noted that criminals were caught with their “criminal weapon” - the helicopter they committed the crime with - and turned themselves in.
Who are these eight officers? What have they done?
These soldiers attempted to stage a coup in Turkey in July 2016 with the aim of removing the constitutional order and toppling the government, and they have the blood of 241 innocent people on their hands.
They are members of the FETÖ network of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who landed with a helicopter in the southwestern resort town Marmaris where President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his family were vacationing. They flew to Marmaris with the intention of killing the president. It does not comply with the law, human rights or democracy that Greece, which boasts with being the ancient cradle of democracy, a member of the European Union, and an ally of Turkey in NATO, is providing protection to soldiers who have attempted to stage a bloody coup and attempted to kill the president.
What Greece is doing is openly aiding and abetting criminals. This makes it an accomplice to the bloody coup attempt.
This stance is no different to the stance of the United States, which has accommodated FETÖ for years, protecting Gülen himself and today not returning him to Turkey.
This is not a new attitude for Greece. Even though there is an agreement for the return of criminals between the two countries, up until today Greece has not returned any of the 50 terrorists that Turkey has demanded.
It policy of protecting terrorists threatening Turkey is not limited to that. It is also a country that has embraced the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) for many years. Numerous PKK terrorists have been trained in camps in Greece. Athens has not paid any attention to Ankara’s persistent demands and has kept these camps open at the service of the PKK for years.
After Syria, Greece is the country that the PKK has received the most support from. It is no a coincidence that after PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan left Syria, he tried to shelter in Greece and was caught at the Greek Embassy in Kenya carrying a South Cyprus passport in February 1999.
Greece has supported terror by accommodating high-level terror organization leaders, providing logistical support, providing finances, housing, fake identities and passports, allocating training camp facilities, and facilitating their travel.
All these activities are in Turkey’s records.
As a result, there is no credibility to Greece’s references to human rights, the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary in order to justify its latest ruling.