NEWS

Turkish consulate worker, ship cook found guilty of espionage

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Two men arrested last year on the island of Rhodes have been found guilty of espionage against Greece.

They are Sebahattin Bayram, 36, a secretary who worked at the Turkish Consulate General in Rhodes, and Mehmet Nezametin, 53, a cook on a passenger ship serving the Rhodes-Kastellorizo route. They are both from Thrace, northeastern Greece.

Bayram was sentenced to five years behind bars, while Nezametin was handed a four-year jail sentence.

The cook had been accused of providing Nezametin with information about the positions of Greek warships and the number of Greek soldiers traveling to and from the remote island of Kastellorizo on the Stavros, the ship on which he worked, on numerous occasions.

The two were found not guilty of the charges of supporting enemy combat forces and of violating state secrets.

The ruling was quickly condemned by Turkey’s Foreign Ministry. “All the principles of law, including international law and private international law, were breached,” the ministry said in a statement. 

“Even the right to defense was violated due to the procedural violations of the court. The prosecutor and the panel of judges acted with prejudice,” it added.

The ministry said that “all necessary steps in the Greek domestic law and international law will continue to be taken with a view to protecting the rights of our staff.”