Ankara said on Friday that the rejection of its extradition request for a Turkish terror suspect by a Greek court was “another new example of the Greek courts’ approach to protecting terrorist organizations.”
In a statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said that the “judgment neither complies with the international obligations of Greece to combat terrorism, nor is it compatible with good-neighborly relations.”
Memet Dogan, who is a Kurd, had been arrested in Athens on November 28, along with eight other fellow Turkish nationals, on terrorism charges shortly before Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Greece in December.
“In the future, we expect the Greek judiciary to take just and lawful decisions, free from political pressure,” the statement concluded.
Greece’s three-member Council of Appeals Court Judges accepted on Friday that Dogan has already been recognized by France as a political refugee.
Addressing the court earlier, prosecutor Efstathia Kapayianni said that he is a political refugee in accordance with the Geneva Treaty of 1951 which overrides the Greek Constitution and does not allow his extradition to Turkey.
“Consequently, his return to Turkey, where it has already been deemed that his life will be in danger and that he will suffer torture and inhuman treatment, will not be allowed,” she said.
The extradition request for another one of the suspects will be heard on Tuesday.
In December a Greek court ordered the detention of nine Turkish citizens pending trial for terrorism-related offenses including ties to a banned militant group behind suicide bombings in Turkey.