by Aggelos Skordas
According to Gerd Heller writer from German daily newspaper Badishe Zeitung, Turkish intelligence agency MIT, might be organising the kidnap or even the execution of the recently released Turkish former soldier and asylum seeker Suleyman Ozkaynakci who currently resides in an unknown location in Athens, under tight security measures.
After indicating that Erdogan has personally requested details on the former officer’s whereabouts, the report says: “The Turkish citizens who have applied for political asylum in Greece live constantly in the fear of Erdogan’s agents […] Ozkaynakci is one of the eight Turkish officers who have found shelter in Greece after a coup attempt in July 2016 […] Under the protection of more than 100 police officers, the Turkish officer is in a secret location since last weekend. The Greek authorities are afraid that Turkish secret services may try to kidnap or kill Ozkaynakci.”
On July 16, 2016, the day after the failed coup attempt in Turkey, Ozkaynakci along with seven fellow soldiers landed with a helicopter near Alexandroupolis, Thrace. They instantly applied for asylum in Greece, while they denied their participation in the attempted coup. The eight (three majors, three captains and two sergeant majors) remained in custody for some 18 months and their presence in Greece has increased tensions between Athens and Ankara, as the later requested their extradition. The Council of State, the country’s highest administrative court, is expected to make a final decision over the asylum requests of all the eight Turkish soldiers within May.
According to Greek media, police, intelligence agency EYP and counter-terrorist bureau cooperated in order to organize a protection plan for the first released Turkish serviceman. Security cameras, monitoring devices and some 90 police officers have been deployed for Ozkaynakci’s safety, as he has been characterized as the country’s “number one protected target”.