Turkey court refuses to release jailed Greek soldiers
EDİRNE – Agence France Presse
A Turkish court on March 27 ruled that two Greek soldiers charged with espionage and illegally entering the country would remain in jail, in defiance of European Union pressure for their release.
The pair were detained on March 2 for entering a military zone in the northwestern Turkish province of Edirne, which borders Greece.
A local court in Edirne ruled after its latest hearing on March 27 that the two soldiers would remain in jail.
The Turkish lawyers of the two men had asked for their release.
The soldiers told prosecutors shortly after their arrest that they mistakenly crossed the border after getting lost in the fog. But according to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency, they have been charged with “attempted military espionage” by prosecutors, as well as “entering a forbidden military zone.”
It said the pair testified that they entered the Turkish side by tracking footsteps in the snow and filmed images on their mobile phones to send to higher ranking officials.
The arrest of the soldiers has strained bilateral ties between Ankara and Athens, who are already at loggerheads over the exploration of gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean.