Turkey's Foreign Ministry on Thursday condemned a decision by the top court in Greece granting asylum to ex-Turkish soldier Süleyman Özkaynakçı, who Ankara accuses of involvement in the 2016 coup bid.
In a statement, the ministry said the Greek Council of State, the highest administrative court in the country, "in defiance of the rules of international law, granted asylum to putschist Süleyman Özkaynakçı."
"It has been thereby reaffirmed by the international community that Greece is a country, which protects and shelters the putschists. We strongly condemn this decision that deeply offends the conscience of the Turkish nation," the statement added.
A Greek judicial source told AFP that the Greek government has launched an appeal against the second ruling -- the result of which will apply to the next six officers.
"We hope that the Greek judiciary will refrain from repeating the same mistakes by taking similar biased decisions in the future," it said.
Özkaynakçı's asylum request had been accepted in December 2017 by an independent asylum commission in Greece, but later the Greek government raised an objection to it.
He was released briefly after being granted asylum but was arrested again after the government raised an objection to the asylum.
The Greek Council of State evaluated the government's objection last month and ordered the release of Özkaynakçı under strict control until the results of asylum applications of all eight Turkish coup plotters come out.
Turkish European Union Affairs Minister Ömer Çelik said the Greek legal system has "ruled to protect the terrorists who attempted a coup to overthrow Turkish democracy".
He said the decision was the "most embarrassing ruling possible for any country".
The eight former Turkish servicemen fled to Greece a day after the defeated 2016 Turkish coup. They are accused by Turkish authorities of involvement in the coup and being members of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ).
FETÖ and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gülen orchestrated the defeated coup on July 15, 2016, which left 250 people killed and nearly 2,200 injured.
Relations between the two NATO allies have been further strained after the pre-trial detention of two Greek soldiers since March.
The soldiers were arrested after crossing the border into Turkey with espionage charges but claim they got lost in the fog. A Turkish court on Tuesday ruled the soldiers should remain in jail.
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