Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Friday reiterated claims that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had promised to see to the extradition of eight Turkish officers who fled to Greece after the coup attempt in the summer of 2016.
According to extracts from an interview published on the website of Turkish daily Milliyet, Tsipras promised President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during the former’s visit to Athens last year that he would ensure the eight officers were extradited to Turkey to stand trial for their alleged role in the botched overthrow.
Cavusoglu further claimed that Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias had also wanted the eight officers to be returned to Turkey, but that the government’s intentions were “blocked” by Greek judicial authorities, under pressure from the European Union.
“The courts there obviously don’t listen to the government, but we know that they decided after coming under pressure from the EU,” Cavusoglu said, referring to a string of court decisions releasing the eight officers from custody and preventing their extradition. Three of the eight, meanwhile, have already been granted asylum.