A group of Greek women who came together under the name “Greek Mothers” on Monday held a demonstration in front of the Turkish Consulate General in Thessaloniki asking Ankara to release two Greek soldiers arrested in March.
Lt. Aggelos Mitretodis and noncommissioned officer Dimitros Kouklatzis were detained on March 2 in a military zone in Edirne’s Pazarkule district, which hosts a border gate with Greece.
The women, who organized on social media, held the demonstration on Monday during which they held posters of the jailed Greek soldiers and asked for their immediate release.
The women’s request to meet with Turkish Consulate General in Thessaloniki Yalman Okan was denied.
The soldiers told the prosecutors shortly after their arrest that they mistakenly crossed the border after getting lost in the fog. But according to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu new agency, they have been charged with attempted military espionage by prosecutors as well as entering a prohibited military zone.
Turkish courts have so far denied the soldiers’ plea for release, saying the jail sentence demanded by the prosecutor, up to five years in prison, is too long to qualify for release on probation.
The arrest of the soldiers has strained bilateral ties between Ankara and Athens, which are already at loggerheads over the exploration of gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean.