Turkey’s ambassador to Athens, Kerim Uras, held a press conference on Tuesday after the weekend coup attempt in his country. He said that the eight Turkish military officials who fled to Greece in a Turkish military helicopter would have a fair and transparent trial if they were returned to Turkey.
The eight men have sought political asylum in Greece after they landed in the city of Alexandroupolis on Saturday. They say that they fear for their lives and point to certain death in Turkey where they are believed to have committed treason. They were charged with illegal entry into Greece and disruption of Greek relations with its neighboring country. Greece insists on giving the men a fair trial before they are extradited in accordance with international law on the granting of political asylum.
Uras criticized Greece for allowing the helicopter to land on Greek territory even though the officers had signaled “Mayday.”
Unverified reports have leaked to the Greek press that the eight men standing trial in Greece were part of the commandos that circled the resort where Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was vacationing in an attempt to assassinate him.
The case has jeopardized Greek-Turkish relations following a warming up of relations in recent years despite their long history of enmity with disputes over territorial borders in the Aegean.