Turkey’s bounty on 8 officers ‘a demonstration of authoritarianism,’ lawyers say


Turkey's decision to set a bounty on the eight Turkish officers who were granted asylum in Greece after the botched coup attempt of 2016 on the day of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras's visit to the country is a demonstration “of authoritarianism and aggressiveness,” 14 former heads of Greek Bar Associations said on Monday.

Tsipras paid a two-day visit to Turkey last week, during which he discussed territorial disputes and gas exploration in the Aegean with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Shortly before he arrived in Ankara, the Turkish Interior Ministry added the eight servicemen on a list of people wanted for their alleged role in the coup attempt.

The move constitutes “an act of national humiliation and an affront on democratic institutions and operations in our country,” the 14 lawyers said in a joint statement, adding that the bounties aim at “demonstrating authoritarianism, aggressiveness and is an intervention in our country's domestic affairs.”

Erdogan's tactics point to “methods of a political underworld, that has nothing to do with the internationally recognized legal culture,” they continued.

They also called on the international community to condemn this behavior and urged the Greek government to “respond accordingly” and ensure the rights of the eight Turkish officers.

The statement is signed by the former presidents of the Bar Associations of Athens (2 former presidents), Thessaloniki (2), Tripoli, Rhodes, Rodopi, Nafplio, Trikala, Orestiada, Sparti, Agrinio (2) and Livadia.