Turkey has demanded Greece retrial the eight Turkish military personnel who landed illegally in Greece last July after fleeing the failed military coup or else it will cancel the migration. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has rejected the decision by Greece’s high court which re-examined the case of the eight men and decided against their extradition to Turkey.
“We demand that the eight soldiers be tried again. This is a political decision, Greece is protecting and hosting coup plotters,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an interview on Friday.
The three majors, three captains and two sergeant-majors who were arrested in Greece after their illegal entry into the country sought political asylum in Greece and denied playing a role in the failed military coup which later led to a purge of the military, judicial and civil service in Turkey.
The Greek court said the possibility of their rights being violated or reduced, does not allow for extradition and ordered that they be freed and placed under protective custody until a final decision is made on their asylum applications.
Meanwhile Turkey’s Foreign Minister hinted at the cancellation of the migration deal between the EU and Turkey which saw many refugees in Greece returned to Turkey.
“We are evaluating what we can do. There is a migration deal we signed, including a readmission deal with Greece, and we are evaluating what we can do, including the cancellation of the readmission deal with Greece,” Cavusoglu added.
On his part the Greek Prime Minister’s office issued a press release reiterating reiterated the clear autonomy of the Greek judicial system stating the separation of powers is enshrined in the Greek Constitution and court decisions are binding for the government.
The Greek government immediately condemned unequivocally the coup attempt [in Turkey] and supported the democratically elected government, as well as the compliance with constitutional legality in our neighboring country.
“We stress today as we did then that those responsible for the coup are not welcome in our country. At any case, Greece respects the rule of law and the principle of the separation of powers is constitutionally guaranteed and undisputed – including all the international conventions that bind the country. Within Greece, the only authority responsible for the relevant judgments is the independent Greek Justice, whose decisions are self-evidently binding,” said the press release.