Greece agrees to provide protection to two Turkish ex-commandos
Greece on Aug. 27 agreed to provide protection to two former Turkish elite commandos allegedly linked with the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), the group believed to have been behind the July 2016 defeated coup attempt in Turkey which left 251 people dead and nearly 2,200 injured.
Police spokesman Theodoros Hronopoulos told Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency the 18-month detention period of fugitive ex-commandos Halit Çetin and Fatih Arık had ended last week.
The duo, who used to be part of the Turkish army’s underwater offensive (SAT) operation units, then requested protection after securing their release.
Hronopoulos said the request of Çetin and Arık was accepted, and they were later dispatched to a secret place after they left their camp. He added that their asylum process continues.
Çetin and Arık requested asylum in Greece after they entered the country illegally in February 2017.
Stavroula Tomara, the lawyer of the two, told Greek media on Aug. 27 that she had been unable to reach Çetin and Arık since Aug. 20.
According to Greek law, a person whose asylum process is ongoing can be detained for a maximum of 18 months.
A few hours after the July 2016 defeated coup, eight ex-military personnel had arrived in Greece on a hijacked Black Hawk helicopter and requested asylum.
Turkey had immediately issued an extradition request, which was eventually declined by the Greek Supreme Court in January 2017, after a series of trials and appeals.
Turkish authorities accuse the soldiers of being involved in the defeated coup and being members of FETÖ.