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“If Turkey tries to kidnap its soldiers, it would be a casus belli!” – Greek politician
A politician from Greece’s governing coalition has warned that any attempts by Turkey to kidnap and forcibly extradite eight soldiers who escaped after a failed coup attempt would be considered grounds for war.
ANEL Party Deputy Chairman Panagiotis Sgouridis, whose party is part of the governing coalition, referred on television channel Skai to an incident in March in which Turkey brought back six Turkish nationals from Kosovo without going through official channels. The six were believed to belong to the Gülen movement, a religious group Turkey says carried out the July 2016 coup attempt.
“What has happened in Kosovo cannot happen in Greece,” he said. “If Turkey attempts such a thing, this is a casus belli, it cannot be anything else.”
“If such a thing should happen,” Sgouridis said. “Of course we would go to war.”
Greek security forces have recently increased their security precautions surrounding the eight officers, newspaper Iefimerida said, following rhetoric perceived as threatening from Turkish government spokesman Bekir Bozdağ.
They are being kept at a safe house with security cameras and an electronic security network with a 24-hour guard of 90 policemen, including 10 snipers, the newspaper said.