Mar 02 2018

Two Greek soldiers held by Turkey amid tensions

Two Greek soldiers are being held by the Turkish army after they accidentally crossed the border into Turkey during stormy weather, Ekathimerini reported on Friday.

The two men have been in Turkish custody in the city of Edirne since Thursday morning after they walked into Turkey in a forested area at Kastanies, adjacent to the Evros river, the newspaper said.

Such an incident would normally be settled within minutes as accidental crossings are common, Ekathimerini said.

Political and military tensions between Turkey and Greece have escalated in recent months over territorial rights in the Aegean Sea and off Cyprus, where the Greek Cypriot government is exploring for gas. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called for a re-negotiation of post-Ottoman treaties defining the countries’ borders.

Northeastern Greece, which borders Turkey, is home to a large ethnic Turkish minority.