Citing a judicial assistance agreement between Greece and Turkey, a prosecutor in Ankara has asked Greek judicial authorities to help start legal procedures against a Greek pilot whom Turkish authorities accuse of downing a Turkish F-16 fighter jet during a dogfight south of Kos in 1996, which resulted in the death of its pilot and injury of his co-pilot.
But the request has raised concerns at the Greek Foreign Ministry over its timing, as it comes during a period of increased tensions between both countries after a spate of Turkish air space violations.
According to Turkish reports, Ankara prosecutors – who are citing evidence obtained from radar and conversation records of the two jets – have demanded two aggravated life sentences.
Their request follows a request by the family of the pilot, Nail Erdogan, asking Greek authorities to file a criminal lawsuit against the airman who allegedly piloted the Mirage 2000 that shot down the F-16.
The co-pilot, Osman Cicekli, has also filed a complaint against the Greek pilot.
Turkish officials claim the jet was downed intentionally while Turkish media reports quoted the lawyer of Erdogan’s family saying the trial would be held in Turkey if Greek authorities don’t take action.