Erdogan slams Greece, EU over Turkish soldiers, says case of Greek soldiers with judiciary


In comments on Sunday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Edogan hit out at both Greece and the European Union for pressing for the return of two Greek soldiers that have been in Turkish custody since crossing the Turkish border last month, noting that Ankara is still awaiting the return of eight Turkish soldiers who fled an attempted coup two years ago and are seeking asylum in Greece.

"You know, certain people tried to kill me and escaped to Greece by helicopter," Erdogan said.

"After that, Mr Tsipras, when I spoke to him, told me that the matter would be dealt with in 10 to 15 days," he said, referring to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

"Months have passed, years have passed, and he still hasn't dealt with it," he said.

"A few days ago we caught two Greek soldiers who breached the border and there was an outcry from the whole of the West," Erdogan said.

"They told us you are a large state, give them to us," he added, apparently referring to calls by top EU officials at a summit in Varna, Bulgaria, last month for Ankara to free the Greek soldiers.

"I'm very sorry but we also have rule of law. That case is in with the judiciary. Whatever justice decides," he said.

"You did nothing about those terrorists, you didn't say anything about them to Mr Tsipras," Erdogan said, apparently referring to the eight Turkish soldiers whose extradition Ankara has repeatedly sought but has been rejected by Greece's Supreme Court.