Claiming that the lives of three men would be in danger if they were returned to Turkey, a Greek court rules today that it would not extradite them to Turkey.
The three men were part of a group of eight soldiers who fled Turkey on July 16th following an unsuccessful “coup” attempt in that country by certain members of the military.
They have denied playing a role in the events leading up to the coup and the coup itself and claimed that they would have been targeted by Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan, who has waged a brutal purge of tens of thousands in the military, the public service, against people he believes oppose his rule.
Turkey has referred to these men as traitors and has demanded extradition.
Officials in Ankara objected to the ruling.
“Greece is in the NATO alliance with Turkey and is a NATO ally. Our expectation is that the Greek government make every effort to return” those individuals to Turkey, Defence Minister Fikri Isik said.
The Greek court said that Turkish authorities have not provided sufficient evidence tying them to the coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the source said.
The Turkish officers claimed they would not receive a fair trial in Turkey, where the authorities have detained thousands of people over the coup, including top generals, tens of thousands of educators and university officials and civil servants.
Their lawyer Stavroula Tomara said the “humiliating” treatment and “torture” faced by other coup suspects in Turkey had made an impression on the Greek court.