Turkey repeats call on Greece to extradite all fugitive soldiers
AP photoTurkey has criticized a decision by a Greek appeals court to reject an extradition request for five Turkish soldiers who fled to the country after the failed coup of July 15, repeating its call for the extradition of a total of eight Turkish military personnel.
“We have difficulty in understanding the refusal to extradite five fugitives to our country while the extradition of three other soldiers has been approved,” Hüseyin Müftüoğlu, a spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry, said in a statement late on Dec 8.
Reiterating Turkey’s demand for the extradition of all fugitive soldiers to Turkey, Müftüoğlu underlined that Turkey would continue to closely follow the ongoing legal process.
A Greek appeals court rejected on Dec. 8 a decision to extradite the last two of eight Turkish soldiers who fled to the country after the failed coup of July 15, meaning only three soldiers will be extradited to Turkey. On Dec. 6, the court had decided to extradite three of the soldiers, a day after refusing to extradite three others.
The Athens Council of Appeals judges had found Ankara’s extradition request for three captains justified on charges of attempting to overthrow the state, attempting to impede a parliamentary session and seizing a helicopter.
The soldiers, including two majors, flew their helicopters to Greece’s Alexandroupolis on July 16, prompting the Greek authorities to begin legal and diplomatic processes on charges of illegal entry into the country.
In late July, a local Greek court sentenced the eight soldiers to two-month suspended prison terms for illegally entering the country.
Greece’s political asylum commission, meanwhile, rejected the asylum application of seven of the soldiers, only for the appeals court to approve the extradition of just three of the alleged coup-plotting soldiers.