Turkey condemns Greece for granting furlough to member of November 17 group
The Turkish Foreign Ministry on Oct. 29 condemned Greece for releasing a convicted member of the far-left November 17 group.
“We strongly condemn that the Greek authorities have granted release to Dimitris Kufodinas, a convicted member of the November 17 terrorist organization, on a furlough once again,” the ministry said in a written statement.
Koufodinas used to be the leader of the now-disbanded November 17, which was held responsible for the assassination of a long string of officials. He was previously granted furlough several times while serving multiple life sentences in Greece.
“The release of a terrorist who claimed the lives of our diplomats is disrespectful to their memories and to their bereaved families,” the statement noted.
“We would like to underline once again that allowing a notorious terrorist to benefit from such arrangements does not comply with countering terrorism,” the ministry noted.
Koufodinas was convicted in 2003 for belonging to the November 17. November 17 was active in Greece between 1975 and 2002. It is considered responsible for the assassination of 23 people in 103 attacks, which particularly targeted U.S., British, Turkish, and Greek nationals.
He was the perpetrator of the assassinations of Turkish Press Attaché Cetin Görgü, who was killed in 1991, as well as Omer Haluk Sipahioğlu, a counselor at the Turkish Embassy in Athens, who was gunned down in front of his home in 1994. The counsellor of the Turkish embassy in Athens, Deniz Bölükbaşı, Administrative Attaché Nilgün Keçeci and a driver of the embassy, Adil Yıldırım, were also wounded in separate attacks carried out by the same group.