Greece court allows three Turkish soldiers to remain in country pending asylum hearings

Greece court allows three Turkish soldiers to remain in country pending asylum hearings

A court in Greece on Monday ruled against extradition of three Turkish soldiers, determining that the soldiers should be released from protective custody pending a final ruling on their asylum applications. The soldiers, along with five others, fled to Greece after being suspected of involvement in an attempted coup [JURIST report] against President Tayyip Erdogan [official website] that took place in July, and all eight soldiers face extradition. The court decided [Reuters report] that extraditing these three soldiers to Turkey would put them in danger. The court is expected to rule on the extradition of the other five soldiers within the week, but the decisions will presumably be the same if safety is the concern.

In November Erdogan threatened [JURIST report] to send a new wave of migrants to Europe following a vote to halt negotiations [JURIST report] over European Union (EU) [official website] membership. The fallout with the EU is a continuance of the aftermath Turkey has faced since crackdown after the attempted coup. Since then the government has dismissed [JURIST report] 10,000 civil servants with links to the plotters of coup. Earlier in November the Turkish government restricted activities [JURIST report] for NGO’s and rights organizations. Also last month the government arrested opposition leaders [JURIST report] Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag, along with nine other members, accused of terror related attacks.