by Kerin Hope
January 8, 2018
A Greek court has accepted an unusual government request to “temporarily” suspend the granting of political asylum to one of eight Turkish officers who flew an army helicopter to Greece in July 2016 after an attempted military coup in Turkey.
The court cited the “public interest…and the interests of the officer himself” in its decision. Suleyman Ozkaynakçi, the co-pilot of the helicopter, was ordered to be held in custody until a full hearing of the case on February 15.
Greece’s independent asylum authority granted asylum to the officer in December, 10 months after its supreme court rejected Turkey’s extradition request for the eight officers. They all applied for asylum in Greece.
The asylum authority said in its ruling there was no evidence that Ozkaynakçi participated in the coup, and that Turkey was seeking his extradition for political reasons.