Greek soldiers to be tried for illegal entry in Turkey, expected back soon


Two Greek soldiers who accidentally crossed into Turkish territory while on a foot patrol in the northeastern Evros border area on Thursday will stand trial for illegal entry, government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos told a press briefing on Friday.

Tzanakopoulos said that Greek defense chief Admiral Evangelos Apostolakis has been in touch with his Turkey counterpart, Hulusi Akar, and expects the trial to be conducted quickly and the two soldiers returned to Greece soon.

The government spokesman suggested that it appears the Turkish side has accepted the Greek explanation that the two-man patrol had strayed into Turkish territory accidentally, after stormy weather conditions made them lose then bearings.

“Their arrest by the Turkish authorities followed and from there on, the legal proceedings are just a formality and concern a trial for illegal entry into the country, which will finish fast. After that, we expect their return very soon,” Tzanakopoulos said.