Ankara slams EU over remarks on detained Greek soldiers

Published 28.04.2018 00:00

The Foreign Ministry on Thursday rejected a statement by European Union Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on the detention of two Greek soldiers in Turkey.

"With these remarks...EU authorities lose their credibility and reliability day by day," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hami Aksoy said in a statement.

Aksoy's remarks came shortly after Juncker told the Greek parliament during a visit to Athens that Turkey must release the Greek soldiers, a sentiment which Turkey "received with astonishment."

"The Greek soldiers in Turkey must be freed and the country must respect international law," Juncker said.

A court in northwestern Turkey on Wednesday ordered the continued detention of the Greek soldiers, who "inadvertently" strayed across Turkey's border last month. The Edirne 2nd Criminal Court of Peace ruled against a petition by the soldiers' lawyers to release them from remand.

The Greek soldiers were remanded into custody on March 2 for entering a prohibited military zone in Edirne, which borders Greece.

"We reject this statement, which is far from being serious and lacks legal basis," the foreign ministry statement said. "Greek soldiers who violate Turkish law do not have any privileges before the independent judiciary," Aksoy added.

Meanwhile, Greek security forces declared the coup plotter Süleyman Özkaynakçı who was a soldier in the Turkish military and from fled Turkey following the failure of the coup attempt, as their "number one protected target." In this respect, many security measures have been taken to protect the coup plotter.

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