Athens fends off pressure to extradite Turkish servicemen


Athens has fended off fresh pressure from Ankara to extradite eight Turkish servicemen who fled to Greece in a helicopter after a failed military coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in July 2016.

Speaking after a meeting with Turkey’s Deputy Justice Minister Bilal Ucar in Athens on Tuesday, Justice Minister Stavros Kontonis said that the eight could not be send back given that the country’s Supreme Court has rejected the extradition request.

Kontonis said the ruling was “fully respected by everyone and the Greek government.”

However, he said, a proposal to try them in Athens was still on the table, adding that it would be up to Ankara “to take the appropriate legal steps.”

Experts say that Ankara could submit a new extradition request if it presents fresh evidence in the case.

Furthermore, it was announced on Tuesday that Kontonis has accepted an invitation to visit Ankara in the near future.