Greek Court Rules Against Second Extradition Request for Turkish Soldiers

A Greek court on Wednesday decided against a second request by Turkey for the extradition of the eight soldiers who fled to Greece in July in the aftermath of the failed coup attempt in the neighboring country.

The court decision applies to three of the eight soldiers who sought asylum in Greece. Extradition of three others was blocked as well last week. The case of the remaining two is pending.

Ankara insists that the eight military officers were involved in the coup attempt to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan but fled the country after they failed. Turkish authorities have branded them as traitors and terrorists.

This was Turkey’s second extradition request, after a Greek court decided against the first one in January. The new request was denied on the same grounds as the first, in light of the extensive purges that followed the failed coup attempt. The judge said that the military men will not get a fair trial in their homeland and may be subjected to torture or inhuman behavior.

Greece’s denial to return the eight soldiers to Turkey has contributed to further souring of relations between the neighboring countries.