The last four Turkish servicemen of the eight who fled to Greece after the coup attempt in Turkey in 2016 left the police station at the Olympic Village where they were being held on Monday, as the 18 months of maximum detention had expired.
All eight men will now reside at an undisclosed location, under heavy police protection.
On May 23, the Council of State granted asylum to the co-pilot of the military helicopter in which the Turkish officers flew to Greece in an irrevocable decision that is expected to influence the course of the other seven servicemen’s applications.
Once the court ruling is published, the co-pilot will be issued with documents that will allow him to travel to another European state. The same is expected to happen with the other seven officers.
The decision to grant the Turkish officers asylum has angered Ankara, which is accusing the eight of participating in the failed coup and has repeatedly requested their extradition.
In a response to the news, Greek media quoted Turkish government spokesman Bekir Bozdag of accusing Greece of sheltering terrorists and threatening to catch them and bring them back to Turkey.
Greece’s Supreme Court has rejected all extradition requests, arguing they will not receive a fair trial.