Seven Turkish citizens seek asylum in Greece after coup bid
ATHENSSeven Turkish citizens are seeking asylum in Greece following the July 15 failed coup attempt in Turkey, believed to have been masterminded by the movement of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen.
A couple, both of whom are university professors, and their two children applied for asylum in Alexandroupoli, northern Greece, Greek daily Kathimerini reported, adding that the family illegally entered the country from the northeastern border.
They all have Turkish passports but only the man’s is valid, Kathimerini also reported. A spokesperson for the Greek government has confirmed the incident.
Separately, three businessmen have reached the southeastern Aegean island of Rhodes, also seeking asylum.
Only one of the businessmen had a valid passport and their method of entry has not yet been determined, Kathimerini reported.
Their illegal entrance into Greece means that all seven asylum seekers will be called to appear before a prosecutor and will likely be charged with illegal entry before they can officially apply for asylum.
The incident comes amid Turkey’s extradition request for eight military officers on suspicion of involvement in the failed coup from Greece.
The eight officers requested asylum in Greece after landing a military helicopter in the northern city of Alexandroupoli, four days after the attempted government takeover.
In late July, a court in Alexandroupoli sentenced all eight to suspended two-month prison terms for illegal entry.
Greece began hearing the asylum claim of the first of the eight soldiers on Aug. 19.