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Coup plotters not welcome in Greece, Tsipras tells Erdoğan

DAILY SABAH WITH AGENCIES
ISTANBUL
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President Erdoğan received Greece's Tsipras at Peninsula Hotel in New York President Erdoğan received Greece's Tsipras at Peninsula Hotel in New York

Greek PM Tsipras assured President Erdoğan in a meeting in New York that FETÖ coup plotters are not welcome in his country, reiterating his solidarity with Ankara over the July 15 bloody coup attempt

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Wednesday that Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) coup plotters are not welcome in Greece.

President Erdoğan received Tsipras at the Peninsula Hotel in New York, where he stayed during the meetings at the 71st United Nations General Assembly, for a meeting that lasted nearly two hours. Tsipras told Erdoğan that democracy was "very important" to Greece and coup plotters were "not welcome."

Commenting on the bloody coup attempt by the Gülenist terror cult against the government, Tsipras was quoted by Greek media: "It [the July 15 coup attempt] was a difficult experience for Turkey. Our stance on this is clear: The Greek government and Greek people always stand by a government that has come to power through elections."

According to the Doğan News Agency report, the meeting between the two leaders, where they also discussed the refugee crisis, Turkey's EU accession talks, the extradition of eight coup plotters who sought asylum in Greece, and the Cyprus issue, ended on a positive note, the sources close to government said.

After the July 15 coup attempt, eight soldiers, including two commanders, four captains and two sergeants, had escaped to Greece on a Sikorsky helicopter and landed in Alexandroupolis (Dedeağaç). Ankara has formally requested from Greece the extradition of alleged FETÖ members behind the coup attempt. A Greek court has sentenced the eight men to a suspended two-month jail sentence for illegal entry to Greece and are currently in police custody in Athens.

Meanwhile, Greece has rejected the asylum requests of three soldiers out of the eight, Greek media outlets said Wednesday. The trio had recently claimed that they do not share the ideology of FETÖ, arguing instead that they follow the ideology of Turkey's founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, and contended that they had no knowledge of the coup attempt: "We just followed orders," the soldiers said, claiming that they did not flee to Greece on purpose.

Shortly after the coup attempt, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras telephoned President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to confirm that "whatever is necessary" would be done to ensure the extradition of the eight Turkish military officers who fled to Greece after Friday's failed coup attempt.

On July 15, a military junta loyal to FETÖ carried out a bloody coup attempt, killing more than 240 people and injuring nearly 2,200.
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