Greek courts decide on extradition of Turkish soldiers who sought asylum after July coup

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Series Details 06.12.16
Publication Date 06/12/2016
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A Greek court decided on 6 December 2016 that three Turkish soldiers who fled to Greece after a failed military coup in Turkey in July could be extradited. The three were among a group of eight who fled to northern Greece in a helicopter and sought political asylum, saying they feared for their lives in Turkey.

Turkey had asked Greece to extradite all eight, alleging that they were involved in the 15 July coup attempt and calling them traitors. Following the attempt, a purge was undertaken in the military and civil service.

An Appeals Court had ruled on the day before that three other Turkish soldiers should not be returned home. A chief prosecutor appealed that ruling.

On the 26 January 2017 Greece's Supreme Court rejected Ankara's request for the extradition of eight Turkish officers suspected of plotting the coup who fled their country and sought asylum in Greece. It was not certain that the soldiers would be given a fair trial in Turkey, the judges ruled.

The Turkish government citicised the ruling saying it was politically motivated. It suggested that it might retaliate by scrapping the readmission migration deal with Greece.

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ESO: Background information: Turkey since the failed July 2016 coup
EurActiv, 07.12.16: Greek court says three Turkish soldiers can be extradited
Deutsche Welle, 06.12.16: Greek court agrees to extradite three Turkish officers
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The Wall Street Journal, 06.12.16: Greek Court Changes Tune, Approves Turkey’s Extradition Request for Three Soldiers
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Kathimerini, 27.01.17: Turkey threatens to cancel Greece migration deal in soldiers' extradition row
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