Skip to main content

Turkey failed coup suspects moved to Athens for asylum verdict

Suspects claim they will not receive a fair trial in Turkey but country's ambassador has warned that failure to return the officers 'will not help' ties with Greece. Photograph: (Getty)

AFP Attica, Greece Jul 22, 2016, 02.59 PM (IST)
Eight Turkish military officers who fled last week's failed coup to Greece were moved to Athens today, a police source said, where authorities will examine their asylum pleas.

"They came to Athens this morning," the source said, without being able to confirm where the suspects are being held.

"I assume it's because their asylum cases will be examined here," the officer added.

The eight men -- two commanders, four captains and two sergeants -- requested asylum in Greece after landing a military helicopter in the northern city of Alexandroupoli on Saturday.

They were allowed to land after sending a distress signal to authorities, and claim they will not receive a fair trial in Turkey.

A first ruling on the asylum applications is expected in early August.

On Thursday, the Alexandroupoli court handed them suspended two-month prison sentences for illegally entering Greece.

The sentences were suspended for a three-year period as the court took into account that the men felt threatened.

In his defence, one of the Turkish officers told the court through a translator that he did not want to return home owing to "indiscriminate" arrests by Ankara authorities.

"We saw indiscriminate arrests of military personnel and we were afraid," the suspect said.

The eight had been in police custody in the city of Kavala until today.

The case threatens to strain ties between NATO allies Turkey and Greece, with Ankara labelling the eight "terrorists".

Turkey's ambassador has warned that failure to return the officers "will not help" ties.

(AFP) 

 
Show Comments
  • delete