Jun 07 2018

Turkey suspends its readmission agreement with Greece

The Turkish government has suspended the readmission agreement between Turkey and Greece following Greece’s release into protective custody of the last four of eight military servicemen that Ankara wants extradited on Monday, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu announced on Thursday, Dünya newspaper reported

According to Çavuşoğlu, though the Greek government wants to solve the issue, the judiciary in Greece is under pressure from other countries in the West. 

“We have an agreement with the EU for migrants. This is being implemented. We also have a bilateral readmission agreement with Greece. At the moment we have suspended this readmission agreement,” Çavuşoğlu told to reporters.

The readmission agreement was signed in March 2016 as a bilateral deal for the migrants who are not eligible for international protection to be readmitted to Turkey after crossing into Greece. The agreement formed the basis of the refugee deal between the European Union and Turkey.

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

Greece moved the soldiers out of police custody and placed them in top-secret locations under heavy police protection on Monday, while Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ said the same day that Turkey would kidnap the eight soldiers and bring them back to Turkey.