by Aggelos Skordas
Greek Alternate Defense Minister Fotis Kouvelis is reluctant to specify when the two Greek army officers currently held in a maximum security prison in Edirne, Western Turkey, will be released from custody.
Kouvelis said that their imprisonment is actually a political decision, characterising it as part of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s “unacceptable nationalist tactic” ahead of the general elections to be held in June.
“Nobody can be specific about when the two soldiers detained in the high security prison of Edirne will be released”, the Alternate Defense Minister characteristically pointed out while addressing the Greek Parliament. In regards to Ankara’s stance towards Greece, Kouvelis estimated that it will continue to raise tensions at any given chance either by attempting to create “grey zones” in the Aegean or by challenging Cyprus sovereignty and right to conduct hydrocarbon searches in its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
On Tuesday a Turkish court rejected for the third time an appeal to release from pre-trial detention the two Greek servicemen who were arrested after accidentally straying into Turkish territory on March 1st, during a regular border patrol. According to local media, the court based their decision on two previous rulings which stated that the two men, a second lieutenant and a sergeant, do not have a permanent residence in the country and may flee.