Bakoyannis: Athens should have extradited 9 Turks charged with planning attack on Erdogan

13 July 2018
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Former Greek foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis on Friday called for the Greek government to extradite nine Turkish nationals, whom she referred to as “terrorists”, to Turkey. The nine Turks were arrested in Athens last November 2017 on charges of preparing an attack against Recep Tayyip Erdogan during his visit to the country a month later, in December.

Bakoyannis, one of Greece’s most prominent lawmakers and the sister of current main opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, said the Greek side should have already proceeded with the extradition.

Speaking on the Athens-based Skai broadcaster, she also said Greek PM Alexis Tsipras correctly rejected any correlation between the eight Turkish officers who have requested political asylum in Greece with the continued pre-trial detention of two Greek servicemen in the neighboring country.

The eight Turks, all subsequently cashiered from the Turkish military and charged with treason, among others, fled to northeast Greece aboard an army helicopter in the immediate wake of a failed July 2016 coup in Turkey, whereas the two Greek soldiers inadvertently crossed the frontier into Turkey – in the Thrace region – on March 1. The latter have since been jailed without an official charge filed against them and without a fixed court date set.

Official Turkey has insisted that the eight asylum seekers were participants in the coup, and that the helicopter in which they escaped to Alexandroupolis, in NE Greece, was the aircraft used in an attack on Erdogan and his family.

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