Case of Turkish ‘eight’ a hot potato for Athens
The case of the eight Turkish soldiers who are seeking political asylum in Greece is becoming an increasingly thorny issue for Athens as Ankara is insisting on their extradition and the maximum period for their detention is to expire next month.
Turkey is insisting that Greece return the soldiers, who fled to the country following the failed coup in July 2016, in spite of a Greek Supreme Court ruling rejecting their extradition.
On Saturday, Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul wrote to his Greek counterpart Stavros Kontonis saying “Greece is becoming a gathering place for criminals,” following another court decision last week releasing one of the eight soldiers.
A decision on whether the eight will get asylum is due next month. Whether they do or not, they are expected to stay in Greece as their extradition has been ruled out. Either way, Ankara’s response is likely to be vehement as rhetoric peaks ahead of June 24 snap polls.