Mar 02 2018

Two Greek soldiers arrested in Turkey

A Turkish court has formally detained two Greek soldiers held by the Turkish army after they accidentally crossed the border into Turkey during stormy weather, accusing them of military espionage and entering a military zone, the Yeni Akit newspaper said.

Greek government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos told reporters his government was in consultation with Turkish authorities for a prompt resolution of the matter.

"Legal processes in Turkey will be put in motion swiftly, and we expect the return of the two Greeks to our country,” he said. Tzanakopoulos said Greek Chief of Staff Evangelos Apostolakis called his Turkish counterpart, Hulusi Akar, to discuss the issue.

Political and military tension between Turkey and Greece has escalated the recent weeks over territorial rights in the Aegean Sea. Twice in February, Greek and Turkish naval vessels collided near disputed Aegean islets.

Ankara is seeking the extradition of eight Turkish military personnel who took refuge in Greece following the July 2016 failed coup.