Tsipras govt wants asylum decision for Turk officer overturned; angry reaction by Ankara over ruling

Saturday, 30 December 2017 21:29

The Tsipras government on Saturday submitted a petition to overturn a decision granting political asylum to one of eight Turkish servicemen that fled to Greece in the wake of a failed coup in Turkey in July 2016.

The announcement came a day after the decision was taken and only hours after it was announced, and also followed an angry response by the Erdogan-dominated government in Ankara.

"In following the standing position vis-a-vis the eight Turkish military personnel, as repeatedly and publicly stated, the Greek government today submitted a request to suspend yesterday's decision by the (asylum) appeals committee to grant asylum," was the announcement disseminated by Alexis Tsipras' office.

Turkish media later identified the man as Suleyman Ozkaynakci, the co-pilot of the Turkish army helicopter that landed in northeast Greece.

According to Anadolu, Turkish Deputy PM Hakan Cavusoglu took to his Twitter account to claim that Athens is not aware that every "Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) member released by them is a big threat to their country."

Official Ankara claims the eight men are followers of the Gulen movement and active participants in the coup, whereas the latest decision by the independent appeals committee includes a statement that no proof was presented to back up this allegation.

“The terrorists you release today are like dynamite ready to explode, and you may not have a country to protect when it does,” Cavusoglu said in Turkish, while terming the "Greek attitude" - i.e. the independent judiciary - as "unfriendly". 

On its part, the Turkish Foreign Ministry charged that "Greece, who granted asylum to one of the eight coup plotters who participated in the July 15 coup bid, has once again revealed through this decision that it is a country that protects and embraces plotter ... This decision, which we consider as a political motive, will undoubtedly have effects on our bilateral relations with Greece and our joint regional efforts," Anadolu reported. 


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