Greece’s president, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, on Monday criticized the prolonged detention of two Greek soldiers in a Turkish prison since early March.
During a visit to Alexandroupoli, in Thrace, where he attended the celebration of the 98th anniversary of its liberation, Pavlopoulos said the two Greeks were being detained “arbitrarily and in violation of every sense of the rule of law”.
Describing their detention as “unacceptable and antidemocratic,” the Greek president said Ankara’s attitude on the issue was “above all, damaging the image of Turkey and its leadership”.
“The Turkish leadership must, even now, reflect on its responsibilities toward Greece, the European Union and the international community,” he added.
The soldiers, who have so far been charged with illegal entry, have been held in a prison in Edirne (Adrianopolis) since March 1.
They lost their way in bad weather while patrolling the border near the town of Kastanies and ended up in Turkish territory while following footprints in the snow.
A Turkish court has rejected two requests for the release of the soldiers. Up until now, no trial has been set nor has the indictment been finalized.
Greece has escalated its criticism of Turkey, implying that Ankara is seeking political benefit from the prolonged detention of the two men.