The relieved parents of the two Greek soldiers released from a Turkish maximum security prison after more than 5 months of unjustified custody, praised the event as a ‘living miracle’, as they reunited with their sons.
"On the eve of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary we are living a miracle in which we never ceased to believe in, not for a moment. We wholeheartedly thank God, the Virgin Mary, the political and military leadership that did not stop, not for a moment, fighting for the return of Dimitris and Angelos" Nikos Kouklatzis, the father of one of the two soldiers, Dimitris Kouklatzis, told ANA Newsagency.
"We thank parents from all over the world that joined their prayers with ours for all of these months for the return of our children," he added.
Greece’s political class also praised the gesture by the Turkish authorities with President Prokopis Pavlopoulos calling it a ‘basic act of justice’.
"It shows the path that Turkey can and should follow in order to restore the climate of friendship and good neighbourly ties with Greece, that has proven that it always moves in this direction," said the President.
Greece’s Foreign Ministry released a statement welcoming the release of the two Greek servicemen noting the goodwill gesture will go towards improving relations between the two countries:
“We welcome the release of the two members of the Greek Armed Forces, A. Mitretodis, and D. Kouklatzis, following more than 5 months of unjustified custody in the prison of Edirne. This decision by the Turkish authorities is positive and will contribute to the improvement of Greek-Turkish relations and the friendship between our people.
The official inauguration, next September, of the historical building of the Consulate General of Greece in Izmir, which was postponed due two the detainment of the two military men, will contribute to the same direction.
The constant efforts exerted by the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the diplomatic and consular Missions of Greece in Turkey have borne fruit. Once again Diplomacy is the biggest winner,” said the statement.
On his part, New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis also welcomed the news of the release.
"The release of the two Greek officers is a welcome piece of news in such a gloomy summer for our country. All Greeks are awaiting their return with joy and emotion," said New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who also congratulated the two officers and their families for their brave, dignified and patriotic stance.