Turkey asks Greece to extradite coup soldiers

Turkey officially seeks the extradition of eight soldiers linked to the attempt to overthrow the democratically elected Turkish government on July 15 fled to Greece in a military helicopter a day after the coup failed.

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Turkey has demanded the extradition of eight soldiers who fled to Greece in a helicopter just after the July 15 defeated coup, Turkish judicial sources said on Tuesday.  

A file prepared by Turkey's Justice Ministry was sent to Greece on Tuesday through the Foreign Ministry, judicial sources told Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.  

Turkish military personnel who were aboard a Blackhawk military helicopter being transferred to a prosecutor’s office in the city of Alexandroupolis, northern Greece.

The Justice Ministry's Directorate-General for Law and External Relations prepared the file under an extradition agreement between Turkey and Greece.  

The extradition request, written by the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office, said that Turkey demands the return of the eight military personnel who landed at Alexandroupoli airport on July 16 on board a Turkish Armed Forces Sikorsky S70 Hawk S/N helicopter. 

The soldiers, who have since sought asylum in Greece, face charges of violating the constitution through using force and violence, trying to assassinate the president, and crimes against legislative organs and the government, among other charges. 

On July 27, Greek authorities issued a month’s extension on the soldiers’ asylum request.

A Turkish military helicopter lands in the northern Greek city of Alexandroupolis with eight soldiers on board who have requested political asylum after the attempted coup in Turkey on July 16, 2016.

Turkey's government has said the July 15 coup attempt, which left 240 people dead and nearly 2,200 injured, was organised by followers of US-based cult leader Fethullah Gülen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999, and his FETO network. 

len is accused of leading a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish state institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary, forming what is commonly known as the "parallel state." 

TRTWorld, AA