Defense Ministry assured charges against Greek soldiers won't change

TAGS: Diplomacy, Turkey

The Greek Defense Ministry has been assured that the charges against the two Greek soldiers who accidentally crossed into Turkey last week will not change and that they will not be tried for espionage, Skai understands.

The two men were to appear in a court in Edirne on Monday on charges of illegal entry into the Turkey after straying across the border in heavy snow and fog last Thursday.

Some Turkish media had suggested that the two men would be charged with espionage.

In comments to Skai television, opposition New Democracy's shadow minister for foreign affairs Giorgos Koumoutsakos said that Ankara was engaging in "hostage diplomacy," citing the recent example of the detention of Turkish-German journalist Deniz Yucel  who was arrested in Turkey on charges of disseminating propaganda and eventually released following the intervention of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The head of the small border town of Kastanies, Stavros Tzamalidis, told Skai that similar incidents occurred around five times a year when there was bad weather.