Greece’s Justice Minister Stavros Kontonis announced that the eight Turkish military officers who sought asylum after fleeing Turkey during the failed military coup will be released from detention in May.
Speaking to Greek media, Kontonis said the eight detainees will be released on the grounds that “following the expiration of 18 months, which is coming up in May, there is no provision of extending their detention,” he said.
“I want to be clear. Everyone residing in Greece legally is not in any danger. How this case will develop and what kind of measures will be taken is not a present concern.”
When asked whether he believed Turkey linked the release of the two Greek soldiers currently held in a Turkish prison with the request for the eight officers to be extradited, Kontonis said that “since there are no explicit statements by the Turkish side, I cannot speculate on such a serious issue. They themselves say there is no linking.”
Meanwhile government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos during his briefing to the press on Monday rejected the Turkish Prime Minister’s claim that Turkish coast guard authorities removed a Greek flag from an uninhabited island in the Aegean saying that there “was no incident of violation of the Greek territory”.
“I must say that Mr. Yildirim’s statement was extremely provocative and condemnable and Greece will not accept the theory of the ‘grey zones’ or any questioning of its territorial sovereignty.