Court: Turkish pilot could receive travel papers

Court: Turkish pilot could receive travel papers

Suleyman Ozkaynakci, the Turkish serviceman who piloted the helicopter in which he and seven other Turkish officers fled to Greece following Turkey’s failed coup in 2016, could be eligible to receive travel documents, according to the decision in May by the Council of State to grant him asylum.

According to the reasoning of the decision by Greece’s highest administrative court, published for the first time Tuesday, Ozkaynakci could receive the travel documents on the condition that the Greek state agrees.

However, even if he were to receive permission to travel abroad he would have to be first accepted by another country.

In its ruling, the Council of State said that there was no evidence linking the serviceman to neither the botched coup in July 2016 nor the Islamic organization (FETO) run by the cleric Fethullah Gulen, who lives in self-exile in the US.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claims Gulen was behind the coup.

The ruling also referred to Ozkaynakci’s claim that he has embraced Western values and that he is a secularist.

At the moment Ozakaykci, and his seven Turkish colleagues, are free in Greece but remain under tight security.

Three of them have already received refugee status.

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