Jun 10 2018

Greece fears Turkey may assassinate 8 Turkish soldiers

The eight Turkish soldiers who were granted political asylum in Greece are kept heavily guarded in an undisclosed army camp as authorities fear a possible assassination attempt, the Greek Reporter said on Sunday.

The eight servicemen, who fled to Greece after the July 2016 coup attempt, have been a source of ongoing tension between Turkey and Greece, as Turkey has demanded the men to be sent back to face trial for taking part in the coup attempt, which it blames on the Islamist Gülen movement.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said late on Monday that it his government’s duty was “to find these ‘putschist’ soldiers wherever they are, pack them up and bring them to Turkey,” after Greece released the last four of eight military servicemen into protective custody.

Turkey grabbed six members of the Gulen movement in Kosovo in March in what local media dubbed as a kidnapping. Kosovan intelligence and police reportedly helped Turkey in the operation, but Kosovo’s Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj said he was not informed about the operation.

The biggest fear of Greek authorities is that the Turks may try to assassinate the eight servicemen branded in Turkey as “traitors” and “terrorists”, according to the Greek Reporter. 

The local media reported that the eight servicemen are kept in an army camp in mainland Greece under very strict security measures constantly updated based on new information. Special units of Greek police are employed on a 24-hour basis to guard the eight soldiers, while an electronic protection net has been set up in the area.