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Greek Rail Disaster: Turkey Allows Jailed Man to Attend His Son’s Funeral

Turkey Greek rail disaster
The jailed man’s son was killed in the railway disaster at Tempi. Credit; AMNA

Turkey is releasing the jailed father of a train driver killed in the Greek rail disaster so that he can attend his son’s funeral.

According to sources, this was the topic of a discussion on the phone between Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu on Monday, with a request that the decision not be made known until announced by Turkish authorities.

Dendias next spoke with the train driver’s family to inform them, the sources said.

The inmate, who is serving a prison sentence in Turkey, had applied for furlough on compassionate grounds to attend his son’s funeral last week.

The son of the jailed Greek was a train driver

The victim was 28-year-old Nikos Nalbantis, a train driver, who was traveling to Thessaloniki on the fateful train as a passenger.

According to diplomatic sources, the family had requested the help of the Greek Consulate in Edirne in northwestern Turkey in the case, as it was seeking permission on humanitarian grounds.

Greece’s embassy in Ankara last week sent a note verbale to the Turkish Foreign Ministry highlighting the humanitarian dimension of the request.

Greek Turkey relations warm up after earthquake and rail disaster

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan offered condolences to his Greek counterpart, Katerina Sakellaropoulou and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis after the deadly train crash in Greece.

According to the Turkish Presidency, Erdogan — in his message to Sakellaropoulou and Mitsotakis — said he was “deeply saddened” by the loss of lives and wished a speedy recovery to those injured in the collision.

Tensions between the two NATO allies were running high until the Feb. 6 twin earthquakes that struck Turkey’s southern and eastern regions as well as northern Syria.

Dendias was the first European top diplomat to visit the country after the quakes that killed more than 50,000 people.

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