Turkish coup soldiers to stay in jail: Greece

Turkish coup soldiers to stay in jail: Greece

ATHENS - The Associated Press
Turkish coup soldiers to stay in jail: Greece


A Greek court has ruled that eight Turkish servicemen seeking asylum in Greece must remain in temporary police detention even though Turkey's request for their extradition has been rejected.

The pilots and flight engineers fled to Greece in a military helicopter a day after the failed July 15, 2016 military coup attempt in Turkey.

The court yesterday upheld police arguments that they should be detained for three months pending examination of their asylum bids, due to national security concerns.

The men had appealed for release, arguing that they have not been convicted of any wrongdoing.

Greece's Supreme Court last week rejected Turkey's extradition request, saying that the eight men wouldn't get a fair trial in Turkey, and that their lives might be in danger there. The decision prompted anger from Turkey.

After the decision, Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Işık said the Greek legal decision not to extradite eight Turkish soldiers was not a judiciary but a political decision.

Speaking at an event in Istanbul, Işık said what they expected from “our neighbor Greece” was the eight soldiers’ extradition to Turkey so that they can be tried before the Turkish justice.

“But unfortunately, at the end of months long trials the decision given by the high court in Greece was a complete disappointment. I say it clearly: this is not a legal decision; this decision was not a legal decision that spreads justice. This is a political decision,” said Işık.