Any references to an exchange between the two Greek soldiers detained in Turkey with the eight Turkish servicemen who have sought asylum in Greece is “unacceptable,” the office of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Sunday.
The statement follows comments made late Saturday by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who reportedly requested the extradition of “Turkey’s 8” in exchange for the release of the Greek soldiers who have been imprisoned in Edirne since they strayed into Turkish territory in early March during a border patrol.
“Concerning reports of an exchange, or the equation of the issue of the two Greek soldiers with other issues, we emphasize once again that it is unacceptable and therefore rejected,” Maximos Mansion said in a press release.
“From the Turkish president’s statements yesterday we keep the positive elements: his shift towards peace in the Aegean and the support for dialog between the two countries on important sectors, among which security,” it said.
These positive statements have to be backed by a change in Turkey’s provocative behaviour in the Aegean, it added, and called again for the unconditional release of the Greek soldiers.