Ankara Officially Requests Exchange of Turkish Asylum Seekers for Greek Soldiers



Ankara has officially requested the extradition of the eight Turkish soldiers in the process of being granted asylum in Greece in exchange of a “fair trial” of the two Greek junior army officers detained in Turkey.

Greek newspaper Ta Nea has published a letter sent to President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani by the President of the Turkish Delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly Ahmet Berat Conkar.

In the letter it is stated explicitly that Turkey asks for the extradition of the eight Turkish asylum seekers so that the two Greek soldiers held in custody in Edirne since March 1 get a fair trial.

The letter dated March 31, is a response to the European parliament resolution for the release of the two Greek junior army officers who are jailed without having any charges against them.

The document makes extensive reference to the failed coup d’etat of July 15, 2016 characterizing the eight Turks who fled to Greece as “Gulenists”, “murderers”, “putschists”. Greek courts have said they would not receive a fair trial in their home country and that their lives will be in danger if sent back.

In the letter, the Greek government and courts are criticized for granting asylum to some of the Turkish soldiers, thus violating international law and the rights of the victims. The writer of the letter also claims that if the eight perpetrators are extradited, they will receive a fair trial.

“I would like to conclude by stating that Turkish authorities and Turkish society expects the extradition of eight murderers immediately and we assure you that two Greek soldiers detained will receive a fair trial in Turkey. We expect European Parliament to approach to the matter impartially and without any patronage for a member state,” the letter concludes.