Pros­e­cu­tor op­poses re­turn of 2 more Turks

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

A Supreme Court pros­e­cu­tor yes­ter­day rec­om­mended that an­other two of the eight Turk­ish mil­i­tary of­fi­cers who fled to Greece af­ter a failed mil­i­tary coup in the neigh­bor­ing coun­try should not be ex­tra­dited, cit­ing con­cerns about their chance of a fair trial and po­ten­tial treat­ment in Tur­key.

“Even if they are Greece’s great­est en­e­mies, they must not be ex­tra­dited,” Har­alam­bos Vourli­o­tis told the court. “We can­not say we are wash­ing our hands of this,” he said. “We’re kid­ding our­selves if we say that noth­ing is hap­pen­ing in Tur­key.”

In tes­ti­mony be­fore the court yes­ter­day, one of the Turk­ish of­fi­cers said they left their coun­try “to avoid be­ing killed or lynched.” “If we had not come to Greece we would have been dead or in a very bad state,” he said.

On Tues­day a dif­fer­ent pros­e­cu­tor, Vas­si­liki Theodorou, ad­vised against ex­tra­di­tion for an­other two of­fi­cers, cit­ing the same fears as Vourli­o­tis.

The re­main­ing four of­fi­cers are due to have their cases heard to­mor­row.

There are fears in Athens about the pos­si­ble reper­cus­sions of the Turk­ish of­fi­cers’ case on Greek-Turk­ish re­la­tions, which have come un­der pres­sure since July’s thwarted coup in Tur­key.

Turk­ish fighter jets vi­o­lated Greek air space again yes­ter­day, the lat­est in a series of trans­gres­sions.

Mean­while there are also con­cerns about the pos­si­ble con­se­quences of an ini­tia­tive by Greece’s Deputy Ship­ping Min­is­ter Nek­tar­ios San­torin­ios, who has sub­mit­ted a doc­u­ment in Par­lia­ment out­lin­ing what he said were plans for eco­nomic devel­op­ment on 28 un­in­hab­ited Aegean islets un­der the Euro­pean Union’s re­gional devel­op­ment pro­gram known as In­ter­reg. The ini­tia­tive pro­voked sev­eral re­ports in the Turk­ish me­dia.

Fur­ther­more, ac­cord­ing to sources, the move has caused dis­con­tent within the ranks of the Greek gov­ern­ment as San­torin­ios ap­pears not to have se­cured the back­ing of his su­pe­ri­ors. Mil­i­tary sources yes­ter­day played down the ini­tia­tive, say­ing that the De­fense Min­istry is al­ways in­volved in dis­cus­sions in­volv­ing plans for in­vest­ment or eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity in bor­der ar­eas.

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