Monday, January 9, 2017
Turkish airmen’s asylum case poses quandary for Greece
January 9, 2017
Eight Turkish military officers who flew their helicopter to Greece to seek asylum after last year’s coup attempt are posing a dilemma for Alexis Tsipras, the Greek prime minister, as their fight against extradition draws to a close.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s administration wants the six army search-and-rescue pilots and two technicians to be extradited on charges of attempting to overthrow the government. Greece’s supreme court is due to hear the men’s appeals this week.
Mr Tsipras has told Mr Erdogan that “putschists are not welcome in Greece”. But he and his leftwing Syriza-led government will face harsh criticism at home and Europe if the extradition goes ahead, which the Greek government could force through whatever the supreme court’s ruling.
In a telephone interview, a spokesman for the group said they strongly deny complicity in the coup attempt in Turkey in July.