Jul 06 2018

Tsipras promised to extradite Turkish soldiers - Turkish FM

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras agreed to extradite the Turkish servicemen who fled to Greece to seek asylum in the wake of the 2016 failed coup attempt, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said during a televised discussion on Friday.

Tsipras said Greece had “suffered a lot” due to the coup attempt, and Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias had also been in favour of extraditing the eight soldiers, according to Çavuşoğlu’s comments reported in Türkiye newspaper.

Çavuşoğlu said Greece had been pressured by Europe not to extradite the soldiers, the third of whom was granted asylum by Greece on Thursday.

Çavuşoğlu’s remarks reiterated a statement by Turkish President Erdoğan, who had claimed that Tsipras promised him the soldiers would be extradited to face trial in Turkey.

Tsipras rejected these claims in June, telling reporters he “did not know what Erdoğan had understood” from their phone conversation, but that he categorically denied any promise had been made.

The remaining five Turkish servicemen have been released from detention while awaiting the results of their asylum claim.

Turkey has held two Greek soldiers since early March after catching them on Turkish territory.