Tsipras Appeals to Erdogan to Free Greek Soldiers



Greek PM Alexis Tsipras at Tuesday’s cabinet meeting

Greek premier Alexis Tsipras has issued an appeal to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to speed up the legal process for the two Greek soldiers being held in a Turkish jail.

Speaking at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Tsipras said that the soldiers arrested on March 1 for crossing over to Turkish territory are innocent and are being held unfairly in Edirne prison.

He stressed that the two only crossed a few meters into the country’s territory and added that Greece has repeatedly in the past allowed Turkish soldiers who made the same mistake to return to their country.

He warned that the escalation of Turkey’s rhetoric only leads to “deadlock”, and called on Ankara to make a “goodwill gesture” and release the soldiers.

Tsipras stressed that Greece is a strong country seeking peace, with strong international alliances and foundations.

“We are not threatening anyone, but we are not afraid of anyone,” he said.

He also recalled the support given by the European Union, noting that a clear message of solidarity was sent at the recent summit.

Earlier on Tuesday a Turkish F-16 fighter jet violated Greek airspace and flew over the Greek island of Farmakonisi.