Mar 05 2018

Turkish court rejects release of Greek soldiers

A Turkish court rejected a request for the release from custody of two Greek soldiers detained for suspected espionage.

A lawyer for the soldiers, who had crossed the border with Turkey in bad weather last week, said he requested their release on Monday, according to Reuters and local media. 

Turkish security forces detained the two near the northeastern Greek border and Greece says it expects their swift return.

Political tensions between Turkey and Greece have intensified over the past few months due to a renewed dispute over territorial rights to the Aegean Sea and gas exploration by Cyprus in the Mediterranean.

Diplomatic ties took a turn for the worse in December, when President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called for the renegotiation of post-World War I treaties that gave islands controlled by the Ottoman Empire to Greece. Erdoğan's request was promptly rejected by Athens.