Gov't dismisses suggestions of negotiations over Greek soldiers in Turkey

TAGS: Defense, Turkey, Justice

Government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos on Friday dismissed as “conspiracy theory” suggestions that Greece is in talks with Turkey over the return of two soldiers who were arrested after accidentally straying across the Greek border in northeastern Evros on Thursday.

He said reports claiming that Turkey is planning to hold onto the Greek soldiers in order to push for the extradition of eight Turkish officers who have sought protection in Greece against accusations of being part of a botched attempt to overthrow Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government in the summer of 2016 are “unworthy of comment.”

Tzanakopoulos's comments came after Turkish media reported that the two Greek soldiers were remanded in custody after answering to charges of attempted espionage rather than just illegal entry, as the Greek side had announced.

Earlier on Friday, Tzanakopoulos had said that the court proceedings against the two soldiers were a “formality” and their return was imminent.