Ankara slams Juncker over speech in Greek Parliament


The Turkish Foreign Ministry on Friday took aim at European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker after he joined a growing chorus of international calls for the release of two Greek soldiers who have been in detention in Turkey since last March without charge.

Speaking to the Greek Parliament on Wednesday, Juncker urged Turkey to free the soldiers and respect international law.

“With these remarks… EU authorities lose their credibility and reliability day by day,” said Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy in a statement which also condemned “this two-faced mentality [of the EU].”

“We reject this statement, which is far from being serious and lacks legal basis,” he said, adding that “Greek soldiers who violate Turkish law do not have any privileges before the independent judiciary.”

On Wednesday, a court in northwestern Turkey rejected the third appeal for the soldiers’ release.

The pair were arrested in early March after straying into Turkey during a routine border patrol in bad weather.

Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos has repeatedly insisted the two soldiers are being held in Turkey as “hostages.”