Jun 09 2018

Greek conservative leader to continue efforts to free soldiers jailed in Turkey

The leader of Greece’s Conservatives, Kyriakos Mitsotakis stressed on Friday that he would continue to bring international attention to the two Greek soldiers who have been imprisoned in Turkey since they straying  across the border during a patrol in March this year, Greek Kathimerini newspaper reported.

The pair, Sgt Dimitris Kouklatzis, 27, and Lt Angelos Mitretodis, 25 were arrested after reportedly being found in a “forbidden military zone” in Turkish territory. The soldiers maintain they strayed across the border after becoming lost in bad weather. The fate of the two remains one of the ongoing sources of tension between Greece and Turkey.

“Today marks 100 days since Angelos Mitretodis and Dimitris Kouklatzis were detained in a Turkish prison. I have done, I am doing and will continue to do whatever I can to highlight internationally their illegal detention and return them to their families,” the Greek conservative leader said in a Twitter post on Friday.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Defence Minister Panos Kammnos have accused Turkey of holding the soldiers as “hostages” for the extradition of eight Turkish servicemen who sought refuge in Greece after the failed July 2016 coup attempt.