Foreign Minister: Coup plotters who fled to Greece not fit for political asylum

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Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu

Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told the media on Friday that the eight military officials who took shelter in Greece were not fit for political asylum.

Çavuşoğlu said “The coup plotters are seeking political asylum. They are not fit for political asylum. Our expectation from the Greek authorities is for them to cooperate, to act justly and return these traitors to Turkey.”

Eight members of the Turkish army landed in the Greek city of Alexandroupoli by a Turkish army helicopter last Saturday and sought political asylum after being detained by Greek police, only a day after a military coup attempt was suppressed by the Turkish government.

Following the incident, Çavuşoğlu tweeted out that the government demanded that Greece immediately turn the eight rebel soldiers over to Turkey.

A group of rebel soldiers, acting out of chain of command, attempted a military coup at around 10 p.m. last Friday, with tanks rolling onto the streets of Ankara and İstanbul and soldiers blocking the two main bridges of İstanbul, the Bosphorus Bridge and the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge. The military’s claim of a takeover was announced by the state broadcaster TRT after rebel soldiers raided its building. The TRT anchorwoman was forced to announce that the military imposed martial law and declared a curfew until further notice.

Over 200 people, including civilians, were killed in clashes between police and rebel soldiers overnight. The Parliament, the presidential palace and the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) headquarters were struck by military helicopters.

The Turkish government managed to suppress the coup attempt and subsequently launched a massive-scale crackdown across the country on media, public servants, judges, prosecutors and teachers, along with rebels within the army.

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