Former conservative foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis said on Friday that Greece should return to Turkey eight alleged members of the DHKP-C terrorist group who were arrested in Athens in November last year ahead of a visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
In comments on Skai television, Bakoyannis stressed that there should be no link drawn between the detention of two Greek soldiers in Turkey and the eight Turkish servicemen who fled to Greece after a failed Turkish coup in 2016 and are seeking asylum here.
Following talks with Erdogan on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Brussels on Thursday, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras indicated that the Turkish leader had drawn a link between the two cases.
"I would never accept this and Tsipras correctly did not accept the offsetting of the two cases," Bakoyannis said.
Describing the affair of the eight Turkish servicemen as "a deep wound," she said it was "absolutely certain" that they had been involved in a plot against Erdogan and their extradition is therefore a priority for Ankara.
As for the two Greek soldiers, they "did nothing except cross three meters over the border," she said, noting that comparing the two cases was "a joke."
However, the Greek authorities should have returned the alleged terrorists to Turkey, she said. "When a country has on its soil people who have declared their intention to murder the president of Turkey, and they have a proven history of murders, you send them back," she said.