Greek lawyers accuse Turkey of authoritarianism for setting bounty on 8 officers

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Fugitive Turkish soldiers arrive at Supreme Court of Greece, "Areios Pagos", in Athens, Greece on January 26, 2017. Greece will not extradite any of the eight Turkish soldiers allegedly involved in the July coup attempt, Supreme Court judges said on Thursday. AFP PHOTO

Turkey’s decision to set a bounty on eight Turkish officers who were granted asylum in Greece after a failed coup in 2016 on the day of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s visit to the country is a demonstration “of authoritarianism and aggressiveness,” 14 former heads of the Greek Bar Associations said on Monday, the Kathimerini daily reported.

Tsipras paid a two-day visit to Turkey last week during which he discussed territorial disputes and gas exploration in the Aegean with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Shortly before he arrived in Ankara, the Turkish Interior Ministry added the eight servicemen to a list of people wanted for their alleged role in the coup attempt.

The move constitutes “an act of national humiliation and an affront on democratic institutions and operations in our country,” the 14 lawyers said in a joint statement, adding that the bounties aim at “demonstrating authoritarianism, aggressiveness and is an intervention in our country’s domestic affairs.”

Erdoğan’s tactics point to “methods of a political underworld, that has nothing to do with the internationally recognized legal culture,” they continued.

They also called on the international community to condemn this behavior and urged the Greek government to “respond accordingly” and ensure the rights of the eight Turkish officers.

The statement is signed by former presidents of the bar associations of Athens, Thessaloniki, Tripoli, Rhodes, Rodopi, Nafplio, Trikala, Orestiada, Sparti, Agrinio and Livadia.

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