Greeks find Turk­ish of­fi­cers in mi­grant smug­gler’s car

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Police in Greece have de­tained two Turk­ish mil­i­tary of­fi­cers found in a smug­gler’s car that had sev­eral mi­grants on board, of­fi­cials said yes­ter­day. The ar­rest took place in the north­ern city of Xan­thi on Thurs­day even­ing, lo­cal police told AFP. The two Turks were crammed in­side a BMW with Bul­gar­ian li­cense plates, along­side two Ira­ni­ans and three Syr­i­ans, the police said. It was not im­me­di­ately clear how and when the two men came to Greece, and if they in­tended to file for asy­lum.

“We are not rul­ing out the pos­si­bil­ity that they them­selves were part of the smug­gling op­er­a­tion,” a police source in Athens said. Sev­eral Turk­ish na­tion­als have fled to Greece fol­low­ing a failed army coup against Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan in July. Among them are eight mil­i­tary of­fi­cers who flew by he­li­copter to the north­ern city of Alexan­droupoli shortly af­ter the at­tempted govern­ment takeover in mid-July. The eight men have re­quested asy­lum in Greece, in­sist­ing their lives are in dan­ger de­spite deny­ing any role in the failed coup. But Greek au­thor­i­ties have turned down their ini­tial re­quests for pro­tec­tion. Ankara has called on Athens to ex­tra­dite them all, but that re­quest will only be con­sid­ered by Greek jus­tice once the asy­lum is­sue is defini­tively de­cided, ac­cord­ing to a Greek ju­di­cial source. The case threat­ens to strain ties be­tween the un­easy NATO allies. — AFP

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