Greek court rules against Turkish soldiers’ extradition

ATHENS, Greece : The Greek Appeals Court ruled Monday against the extradition of three of the eight alleged Turkish coup plotters seeking asylum in the country, according to the Ministry of Justice.

A decision for the remaining five soldiers is expected on Tuesday, according to the Greek newspaper Naftemporiki.

The eight men arrived in Greece on a highjacked Black Hawk helicopter, a few hours after the failed July 15 coup attempt left 248 martyred and more than 2,000 injured.

All of them have requested asylum in Greece. Their primary requests were initially denied by a Greek court.

The Turkish government has repeatedly requested the extradition of the eight alleged coup plotters, promising to provide fair trials.

The Greek Asylum Service was not immediately available for comment.

Turkish reaction

The first Turkish reaction to the decision came from Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik.

"Greece is an ally of Turkey within NATO. Our expectation from the Greek government is that they will make every effort to extradite these FETO [Fetullah Terrorist Organization] members to Turkey," Isik said, answering journalists' questions in Ankara following the launching ceremony of Turkish satellite Gokturk 1.

"This [FETO] is a terror organization. It is important that governments or courts do not discriminate in their decisions regarding terror organizations," Isik added.

The FETO group and its leader Fetullah Gulen are accused by the Turkish government of being behind the coup attempt and a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through infiltrating Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary, forming what is commonly known as the parallel state.

Source: Anadolu Agency