Greece should not provide asylum to the former Turkish soldiers who fled to the country since they were involved in the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey, a Greek official said on Wednesday.
Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Yorgos Katrouglaos said that harboring the eight putschist soldiers who fled Turkey following the abortive July 15, 2016 coup would be against the Geneva Conventions.
After the 2016 coup attempt, eight soldiers, including two commanders, four captains and two sergeants, escaped to Greece in a Sikorsky helicopter and landed in Alexandroupolis. Greek courts rejected Ankara's extradition requests for the suspects three times, which drew a great reaction from Turkish public and politicians.
Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, on the other hand, made remarks in opposition to Turkey. He said Greece is deploying 7,000 soldiers to the Aegean islands and Turkish border region. "If they have the courage, they can dare to eye one inch of our territory. Greeks would unite and smash them," Kammenos said, adding that Greeks should be aware of the enemy that tries to provoke them.
"Their threats and provocations cannot bring us to heel. Instead, it will strengthen us," Kammenos said. Regarding the two Greek soldiers detained in Turkey, he said that he would go and get them and bring them back.
On Monday, Kammenos said that there are no actual charges against the soldiers, and the Turkish government has taken them hostage. He claimed Turkey had earlier planned the detention of two Greek soldiers, who are accused of trespassing into Turkey near the border. "[President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] is insane, who do you talk to?" he told reporters.
Some Greek government officials, including those in his own Independent Greeks (ANEL) party, strongly criticized Kammenos's statements.
Turkish Consulate in Athens vandalized
Turkey's Athens Consulate was vandalized by a group of assailants, Consul-General Oya Yazar confirmed late Wednesday. Greek media reported that an anti-government, anarchist group who call themselves Rouvikonas claimed responsibility for the attack.
Yazar told Anadolu Agency (AA) that a group of 15 to 20 people came to the street where the consulate is located on Wednesday evening and began smearing the building's walls with red paint.
Fortunately no one was injured in the incident, but windows in the consulate's waiting room were broken, Yazar said. The vandals later escaped, she added. Greek police said they are investigating the incident.