The Prime Minister’s office issued a strong-worded statement on Sunday evening referring to an “incomprehensibly slippery road of provocative attacks”, in response to comments by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about two cases involving Greek and Turkish soldiers earlier in the day.
Erdogan had 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 a month ago, noting that Ankara is still awaiting the return of eight Turkish soldiers who fled an attempted coup almost two years ago and are seeking asylum in Greece.
"You did nothing about those terrorists, you didn't say anything about them to Mr Tsipras," Erdogan said addressing EU officials, apparently referring to the eight Turkish soldiers whose extradition Ankara has repeatedly sought but has been rejected by Greece's Supreme Court.
The office of Alexis Tsipras promptly responded that “Greek is a state of Law and has a Prime Minister who respects and acknowledges the procedures of Greek justice, not a Sultan who would be able to issue promises on [justice’s] decisions.”
“If the Turkish President had something to say about the affair of the eight [Turkish solders], he had the chance to say it both in private to the Greek Prime Minister and publicly during his recent visit to Athens. Today he chooses to continue an incomprehensibly slippery road of provocative attacks, counterbalancing two entirely dissimilar cases.”
“If he wishes to be the head of a state governed by Law, he has to give explanations on the reason why Turkey is still keeping in custody two Greek military officers who have done nothing more than crossing into Turkish soil by a few meters while they were searching for illegal crossings,” the statement read.