Turkish MFA condemns release of eight former soldiers in Greece

Turkish MFA condemns release of eight former soldiers in Greece

ANKARA
Turkish MFA condemns release of eight former soldiers in Greece

The Turkish Foreign Ministry has expressed its condemnation of Greece’s repeated refusal to extradite the eight fugitives who had fled to Greece and were granted asylum by the Greek Council of State and released, despite being accused of taking part in the coup attempt of July 15. 

Although Turkey has also expressed its expectations from the Greek judiciary not to repeat the “same mistakes by taking similar biased decisions in the future,” it has been discovered Greece has released the other seven remaining fugitives over the past few days, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hami Aksoy said in a written statement on June 5.

“The release of all the fugitive putschists cannot be explained as a routine administrative decision pertaining to their detention period,” he stated.

With this decision, the “putschists” will be able to move freely in Greece, the spokesperson said accusing Greece of revealing itself as a country that provides a safe haven to putschists.

“The release of the traitors who plotted a coup in order to overthrow democracy in a neighboring country by a country, which claims to be the cradle of the democracy conforms neither to international law, nor to good neighborly relations,” Aksoy said.

A lawyer representing the eight Turkish servicemen seeking asylum after the July 2016 coup attempt said on June 4 that two of his clients have been freed pending a ruling on their applications.

Omiros Zelios said the last of his clients was released from police custody last week. All are living in a secret location under strong police protection.

Greek courts have rejected repeated Turkish demands for their extradition, to face charges of alleged participation in the coup, arguing that they would not get a fair trial in Turkey.

So far, one of the Turks has been irrevocably granted asylum—despite efforts by Greece’s government to block the decision. The others’ cases are pending.

Greece, Turkey, diplomacy, soldiers, coup attempt