Greece plans to send FETÖ's putschists who sought asylum to another country

Published 14.01.2019 19:08
Updated 15.01.2019 00:37

Greek media reported that the country is considering sending eight former Turkish soldiers, accused of involvement in the July 15, 2016 coup attempt in Turkey, to another country.

The Greek daily, Real News reported that officials were "negotiating" the possibility of sending away soldiers who earlier sought asylum in Greece.

The eight men had hijacked a military helicopter and fled to Greece after the coup attempt, perpetrated by the military infiltrators of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), was thwarted.

They were briefly detained by the Greek authorities before their release and were taken to a secret location, pending asylum applications. Turkey has protested the Greek courts' refusal to extradite them.

Greek media reported that asylum procedures were completed for four of them while the others were expected to be granted asylum by April. Once granted asylum, they can obtain documents to travel to a third country but they have not received the documents yet.

Real News also reported that this was because of the Greek authorities' "ongoing negotiations" with other countries. The countries were not named, but Real News says they were "outside Europe." Many FETÖ members who fled Turkey after the putsch bid and traveled to the U.S., where the group's leader Fetullah Gülen is based.

The officers are wanted in connection with their role in the coup attempt's Istanbul leg. When the coup attempt failed, they fled the headquarters of the 66th Mechanized Infantry Brigade in the city where they were deployed.

The military base served as the meeting place for a group of putschist officers who are accused of gathering there two days before the attempt to discuss the details. Four people, including Col. Sait Ertürk, were killed at the same base in a clash with pro-coup troops.

Turkey has repeatedly accused Greece of being a haven for terrorists who committed crimes against Turks. Although the two countries are looking to fix strained ties, Athens has recently angered Ankara over a string of decisions for asylum and the release of terror suspects wanted by Turkey.

Most recently, it released two suspects involved in the 2016 coup attempt. Halit Çetin and Fatih Arık, former members of an elite underwater commando unit of the Turkish Army, who fled to Greece in 2017 after Turkey issued arrest warrants for the duo for their involvement in the coup attempt.

In line with legal procedures, Çetin and Arık were taken into custody and held in a refugee camp for 18 months, a formal period for detention. They were later relocated to a secret location instead of being extradited to Turkey.

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