Fugitive Turkish soldiers in Greece have links to the squad which tried to assassinate President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the night of the July 15 failed coup attempt by the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), according to judicial sources.
The Terror and Organized Crime Bureau of the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office found that four of the eight Turkish soldiers who fled to Greece a few hours after the failed coup had telephone conversations the night of July 15 with two of the would-be assassins, said the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking with the media.
Greek authorities have been informed of the link, the bureau said.
The eight soldiers arrived in Greece on a hijacked Black Hawk helicopter.
All of them have requested asylum in Greece. Their primary requests were initially denied by a Greek court, but the matter remains pending.
The Turkish government has repeatedly requested the extradition of the eight alleged coup plotters, promising they would have fair trials.
The president, who was vacationing in the southwestern Muğla province the night of the coup, left for Istanbul after being alerted about the coup bid and narrowly escaped an armed attack on the hotel he was staying at in Marmaris. The hotel was bombed 15 minutes after he left.
The suspects tried to assassinate Erdoğan in accordance with the orders of Fetullah Gülen, the leader of FETÖ.
The suspects are charged with attempting to assassinate the Turkish president, violating the Constitution, undermining the unity and integrity of the state, and being members of a terrorist organization.
FETÖ, led by U.S.-based Fetullah Gülen, is accused of organizing the defeated coup, as well as a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.
The defeated coup killed 248 people and injured nearly 2,193.