Jun 04 2018

Greece frees 8 Turkish soldiers seeking asylum after 2016 coup attempt

A lawyer representing eight Turkish servicemen who sought asylum in Greece following the country’s 2016 failed coup says all his clients have been freed pending a ruling on their applications, U.S. Tampa Bay newspaper reported.

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

Omiros Zelios on Monday said that the last of his clients was released from police custody last week, the newspaper said.

All servicemen are reported to be living in a secret location under strong police protection.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and other senior officials from his governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) have slammed Greek leaders for failing to extradite the soldiers.

Greek courts have rejected Turkish demands, arguing that the men would not receive a fair trial in Turkey.

Greece has thus far granted asylum to one of the Turks, while the decision on the other men is pending.