NEWS

Parl't speaker calls ongoing Turkish detention of two Greek soldiers 'illegal'

TAGS: Diplomacy

Greece's Parliament Speaker Nikos Voutsis has called for the release of two Greek soldiers who have been in Turkish prison since they strayed over the border in early March, describing their detention as illegal.

"Relations with our neighbor Turkey occasionally go through taxing periods despite the stable framework of coexistence and debate that has been restored between our countries in recent years," Voutsis told Portuguese newspaper Diaro de Noticias.

"The testing times, which occasionally include indirect questioning of our country's sovereign rights and international treaties by members of Turkey's current leadership are a reflection of the fluid and transitional situation in which Turkey finds itself geopolitically today," he added.

He noted, however, that Turkey's behavior opposite Greece entails risks and emphasized the importance of Ankara displaying respect for international treaties and agreements between the two countries. 

Voutsis also called on the European Union and other international organizations to "take a position in favor of respect for international law."

Questioned about the eight Turkish servicemen who have sought asylum in Greece since fleeing a thwarted coup in Turkey in 2016, Voutsis said that the matter was in the hands of the Greek judiciary.

He stressed that the case of the eight Turks "is in no way related" to that of the two Greek soldiers who, he said, have been detained illegally by Turkey for three months without charges being brought against them. 

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