Turkey’s Foreign Ministry has reacted angrily to news Monday that the last four Turkish servicemen of eight who fled to Greece after a 2016 coup attempt in Turkey were released after their 18 months of maximum detention expired, with a spokesman accusing Athens of becoming “a refuge for coup plotters,” the Greek ekathimerini news website reported.
“We have often stated that we condemn Greece’s refusal to extradite the eight traitors to Turkey who plotted [the failed coup on] July 15, 2016, as we had condemned the decision of Greek justice to free and grant asylum to the first of them,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a statement Tuesday, adding that “we had expressed the hope that the Greek justice would not repeat the same mistakes with such unilateral decisions,” said a statement released by Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy on Monday.
“Greece has clearly become a refuge for coup plotters. It boasts being the cradle of democracy but its stance is incompatible with international law and good neighborly relations,” he said adding that Ankara would continue to pursue their extradition.
Eight Turkish soldiers who fled Turkey on the night of the coup attempt sought protection from Greece, fearing prosecution at home. Following their arrival, Greek police took them into custody.
Two of the officers have thus far been granted asylum by Greece.