Athens is concerned of a protracted crisis between Turkey and Greece

The Greek government is concerned that Turkey and Greece are heading towards a protracted crisis due to the tension between two countries after the arrest of two Greek soldiers in Turkey and the rhetoric of Ankara on disputed issues.

“Athens fears that Ankara is intent on escalating tensions further,” claimed Greek Kathimerini on Sunday. 

“Greece fears that Turkey is deliberately slowing the pace of the legal procedure for two arrested soldiers so that it can use their release as a bargaining chip and force the government into negotiations over other issues as well,” it added. 

According to Ekathimerini, Athens, Washington, Brussels and other EU capitals are convinced that “Turkey is resorting to a strategy that includes the arrest of people as a means of blackmail, especially of Western countries”.

Consequently, the Greek government suspects that Turkey may use those two soldiers as a bargaining chip for the extradition of eight Turkish servicemen who fled to Greece after the coup attempt in Turkey in 2016 and sought asylum.

Greek Supreme Court has rejected Turkey’s demands for extradition on the grounds that this may put the lives of those people in danger and that their rights might be violated.