Greece rejected the asylum requests of three of the group of eight Turkish soldiers who fled to Alexandroupolis after the failed coup attempt in Turkey in July. The men had applied for asylum and deny involvement in the coup, however, Turkey has formally sought their extradition and they have been called “traitors” after they had hijacked a Black Hawk helicopter hours after the coup attempt against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The men had been arrested in Greece upon their arrival and received two-month suspended jail sentences for entering the country illegally.
A Greek official said that the soldiers can appeal against the asylum decision announced on Wednesday. Earlier on Wednesday the three men and their lawyer, Stavroula Tomara, had appeared before an asylum board in Athens where they were presented with evidence by Turkish authorities regarding their active participation in the coup. Before their appearance in front of the board, Tomara had told journalists that a negative decision would be appealed.
The other five Turkish soldiers who had also applied for asylum are waiting for their rulings to be delivered.