Judges at Greece’s highest administrative court on Friday were discussing the fate of a Turkish serviceman who is seeking asylum in Greece after being accused by Ankara of taking part in the botched coup of 2016.
The ruling by the Council of State judges is being closely watched, as it will also determine whether Greece will grant protection to another seven Turkish officers wanted by Ankara to stand trial for the overthrow attempt.
The case is particularly sensitive and has caused significant strain in already tense relations between Athens and Ankara, as the officers’ claim that they will not receive a fair trial if they are returned to Turkey and may be subjected to torture.
Lawyers representing the Greek state, which is appealing a decision by the Supreme Court against the eight officers’ extradition, meanwhile argue that the servicemen do not fulfill the criteria to be considered refugees, nor can they be treated as victims of political persecution since the crimes they are being accused of in Turkey come under the regular criminal penal code.
The Turkish serviceman whose case is at issue in Friday’s session was not present at the court, as he has been placed in protective custody.