A Turkish court on Tuesday refused the release of two Greek soldiers who were caught spying on the Turkish border and ruled for the continuation of their detention.
Greek Lt. Aggelos Mitretodis and noncommissioned officer Dimitros Kouklatzis were detained after being discovered by patrolling Turkish troops near the Pazarkule border gate, five kilometers from northwestern Edirne province, near the Greek border on March 1.
An appeal for their release in May by their lawyers was rejected by the court in Edirne.
The two men, who are charged with military espionage, repeated their earlier defense and said they crossed into the Turkish side of the border by mistake. The court ruled that the circumstances requiring their detention have not changed and therefore, they would not be released.
Turkey to observe Greek border with drones
According to recent news reports, Turkey will start observing the Greek border with unmanned aerial vehicles as part of new measures to prevent illegal migration and border violations by Greek soldiers. Due to its location at the gateway of Europe, Greece has been a popular destination both for migrants and fleeing Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) suspects after Turkey escalated its crackdown on the terrorist group in the wake of the putsch attempt in July 15, 2016. Border security has already stopped dozens of FETÖ suspects from escaping to Greece, while the Turkish Coast Guard has prevented a large number of the group's members from fleeing to the Greek islands from nearby Turkish shores since the summer of 2016.