One of the Greek lawyers for eight Turkish military personnel who fled to Greece last week aboard a helicopter after last week's failed coup in their country says they are being transferred to Athens.
Menia Polychroni, one of three lawyers representing the eight in the northeastern city of Alexandroupoli, said the legal team found out unofficially that their clients were being transported to Athens Friday, and had confirmed the information with authorities.
Polychroni told The Associated Press the transfer would complicate the legal team’s contacts with their clients. The eight have appointments scheduled with immigration officials next week in Alexandroupoli as part of their asylum application.
This is their second transfer in a week for security reasons. The first was on Tuesday when they were taken by helicopter from Feres in Evros on Greece’s border with Turkey, to a holding cell in police headquarters in the northern town of Kavala. On Friday they were being transferred to Greek police HQ in Athens.
It appears that their applications for protection will be processed in Athens by the central Asylum Service.
Turkey is seeking the extradition of the eight so they can stand trial for treason. A Greek court on Thursday handed them two-month suspended prison sentences for illegal entry into the country.