A Glimmer of Hope for the Two Greek Soldiers Held in Turkey

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The lifting of Turkey’s state of emergency next month offers a glimmer of hope to the two Greek soldiers held in a Turkish prison since March.

Law experts quoted in the Greek media say that the development could force the Turkish judiciary to review in more favorable light the fate of Angelos Mitretodis and Dimitris Kouklatzis who were arrested after accidentally crossing into Turkey.

Mitretodis’ father said that, if international standards were to apply, the lifting of the state of emergency will “certainly affect us.”

He warned, however, that “we do not know precisely the Turkish legislation and what rights have been abolished with the state of emergency.”

Turkey’s controversial state of emergency – enacted after the 2016 coup attempt – will not be extended next month, local media reported on Thursday.

The announcement follows a campaign promise by re-elected President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to lift the measures, following an agreement between his Justice Development Party (AKP) and coalition partner, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

Earlier in June, a court in Edirne (Adrianopolis) turned down the fourth request that the Greek soldiers be released from pre-trial custody.

In an interview which appeared in Ta Nea newspaper on Saturday, Deputy Defense Minister Fotis Kouvelis expressed uncertainty about the release of the two Greek soldiers.

He said he was not in a position to predict when the pair will be released, adding that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras raised the issue last week with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the day after his electoral victory.