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Kotzias, Cavusoglu meet as fishermen decry Turkish breaches

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias (second left) and his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu (second right) are seen during the inauguration of the renovated Greek Consulate building in the Aegean coastal city of Izmir Tuesday.

TAGS: Politics, Diplomacy, Turkey

The issue of the eight Turkish servicemen that Ankara wants extradited continue to cast a shadow over Greek-Turkish relations as was evident during Tuesday's otherwise cordial meeting between foreign ministers Nikos Kotzias and Mevlut Cavusoglu.

The two men met during the inauguration of the renovated Greek Consulate building in Izmir.

Speaking at a joint press briefing, both men said they work well together despite the problems between the two countries.

Referring to the servicemen that Ankara accuses of taking part in the failed coup attempt in 2016, Cavusoglu said that if the tables were turned, Turkey “would never allow people on our territory that Greece would describe as traitors, terrorists or coup-plotters.”

Repeated Turkish extradition requests have been rejected by Greece’s Supreme Court.

Kotzias dismissed the charge that Greece is a haven for terrorists.

“What we do have are the procedures of justice and international law,” he said, adding that Greece believes these procedures are the basis of the relationship between the two countries and should inform Turkey European’s course.

“I always underline that a European Turkey, a member-state of the European Union, will be to the greatest benefit of Greece,” Kotzias said.

Meanwhile, 36 Greek fishermen have sent a legal notice to the government over infringements by their Turkish counterparts in Greek waters.

Fishermen called on the government and judicial authorities to take action as they find themselves “in an uneven undeclared war with Turkish fishermen and Turkish patrol boats that are assisting them in illegal fishing.”

They cited the legal code which stipulates arrests and fines for such infringements and accused Greek authorities of looking the other way as their Turkish counterparts engage in illegal activities.

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