Feb 01 2019

Turkish court postpones verdict for 8 soldiers who fled to Greece

A Turkish court on Friday ruled prison sentences for nine former soldiers who were accused of involving a failed coup attempt in 2016, separating the file of eight Turkish soldiers who fled to Greece following the coup, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

The court ordered life sentences for two formed lieutenants and a former lieutenant colonel for "attempting to abolish constitutional order". Three former soldiers also received life imprisonment sentences over the same charges.

Other five former soldiers took prison sentences between seven and 17 years while the court decided to release two other soldiers. The court separated the file of eight former soldiers who fled to Greece in July 2016 stating the court would wait to decide until the suspects get caught.

On Thursday, Turkey's National Security Council said Ankara would continue to pursue people it accuses of taking part in the coup attempt in 2016 – including the eight soldiers Greece has refused to extradite, according to Greek news site Ekathimerini.

The statements by the Turkish National Security Council came ahead of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' visit to Turkey at the invitation of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Feb. 5 and 6.

Greek courts repeatedly refused to hand over the eight soldiers despite consistent requests of Ankara, stating they would not have a fair trial and may be subjected to torture and inhumane treatment.