High court considers Tsipras govt’s petition to overturn asylum decision for Turkish officer

23 February 2018
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A Council of State (CoS) board of appeals on Thursday discussed a petition by the Tsipras government to overturn an independent authority’s previous decision to grant political asylum to one of eight Turkish army officers and NCOs that fled to Greece aboard a military helicopter after a failed July 2016 coup d’état in the neighboring country.

The eyebrow-raising appeal of the decision by the mostly leftist Greek government is signed by Migration Policy Minister Yannis Mouzalas.

If the decision stands, however, prospects for granting political asylum to the remaining seven Turkish nationals are practically assured. A handful of court decisions, including by the Supreme Court, have already eliminated the prospect of the eight being extradited to Turkey to face whatever charges.

The decision by the third independent authority for refugees has already been temporarily suspended pending a CoS ruling, with the Turkish officer again detained.

Attorneys representing the asylum seekers addressed the court, as did attorneys representing the state.

Additionally, the Athens Bar Association, represented by its president, Dimitris Vervesos, acted as an amicus curiae in support of the Turkish officer.

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