Two soldiers were arrested last week after they "inadvertently" crossed the border in northwestern Turkey

Selin Ozel and Hakan Yalcintug, lawyers of the two Greek soldiers who were remanded in northwestern Turkey leave the court after they formally requested release of the soldiers in Edirne, Turkey on March 5, 2018.
Selin Ozel and Hakan Yalcintug, lawyers of the two Greek soldiers who were remanded in northwestern Turkey leave the court after they formally requested release of the soldiers in Edirne, Turkey on March 5, 2018. (AA)

A Turkish court on Monday rejected lawyers' requests for two Greek soldiers arrested in Turkey to be released from custody.

Lieutenant  Aggelos Mitretodis and Sergeant Dimitros Kouklatzis were arrested last week after they "inadvertently" crossed the border into northwestern Turkey. 

Greece said the two soldiers accidentally strayed into Turkey due to bad weather during a patrol of the Greek-Turkish border.

The lawyers of the soldiers had filed an appeal to the First Penal Court of Peace in Edirne, objecting to their custody and demanded their release, the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, said.

Rejected

The court rejected the appeal and ruled for continuation of their custody, noting the soldiers did not have permanent residence and should await result of examination of digital data obtained from them.

Security sources said Greek soldiers face charges of espionage and sending records on their phones to their superiors.

Family members of the two soldiers were able to visit them in jail on Monday.

Relations between neighbours Turkey and Greece have soured in recent weeks over longstanding disputes about boundaries in the Aegean Sea and natural gas drilling rights off the coast of war-divided Cyprus.

Last month, a Greek coast guard vessel was rammed by a Turkish patrol boat off disputed islets in the east Aegean, and Turkish warships prevented an exploratory gas rig from drilling near Cyprus.

Greece has also refused Turkey's requests to extradite eight ex-Turkish soldiers who were involved in a coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies