Turkey’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Thursday condemning Greece’s decision to grant asylum to Turkish soldier Süleyman Özkaynakçı, who has been accused of alleged involvement in a 2016 coup attempt in Turkey, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
“It has been thereby reaffirmed by the international community that Greece is a country, which protects and shelters the putschists. We strongly condemn this decision that deeply offends the conscience of the Turkish nation,” the statement said.
The Greek Council of State on Wednesday approved Özkaynakçı’s application after considering an objection lodged by the Greek government to a decision to grant asylum to the ex-soldier in December 2017.
Özkaynakçı was among eight Turkish soldiers who fled Turkey on the night of the coup attempt and sought protection from Greece. Following their arrival, Greek police took them into custody.
On May 8 Greek authorities also granted asylum to another soldier whose name was not disclosed.
After the granting of asylum, Greek police released the soldiers.
According to Greek law, the maximum detention period is 18 months, which is due to expire at the end of May.