Turkey issues second extradition request for 8 soldiers

Request send day after Greek court turns down earlier request against alleged coup plotters

Turkey issues second extradition request for 8 soldiers

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkey sent second extradition request to Greece on Friday calling for the repatriation of eight fugitive Turkish soldiers who fled after the July coup attempt, a Justice Ministry official said.

The resubmission followed Thursday’s decision by Greece’s Supreme Court against extraditing the soldiers, who have been involved in fighting extradition since they arrived in Greece and claimed asylum.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, did not explain how a second request would help nullify the Greek court’s decision.

The ruling was immediately met by protests from the Turkish Foreign Ministry which said the eight soldiers had “played an active role in the coup attempt targeting the democratic order in Turkey, martyring our 248 citizens and security forces, injuring 2,193 citizens and making an attempt on our president’s life.”

A court in Istanbul later issued arrest warrants in absentia against the soldiers, a judicial official said.

The soldiers -- Maj. Ahmet Guzel, Maj. Gencay Boyuk, Capt. Feridun Coban, Sgt. Mesut Firat, Capt. Abdullah Yetik, Capt. Ugur Ucan, Capt. Suleyman Ozkaynakci and Sgt. Bilal Kurugul -- fled to Greece in a stolen Black Hawk helicopter a few hours after the coup was defeated.

The Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has said four of the soldiers spoke by telephone on the night of the failed coup to two members of the commando squad that tried to assassinate President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Greek authorities were told of the link, prosecutors said.

The Justice Ministry has also said the eight seized five army helicopters from the Samandira air base in Istanbul on the night of the coup bid, during which helicopters and warplanes opening fire on civilians, parliament, presidential palace, intelligence headquarters, police buildings and vehicles.

One of the helicopters was used in a bid to kill Erdogan in the Aegean resort of Marmaris, the ministry said in a statement, and another to fly to Greece. The three others were found abandoned at Samandira.

Turkey has repeatedly requested the extradition of the eight and has promised fair trials.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 27 Ocak 2017, 14:14