Turkey threatened [Reuters report] to scrap an agreement with Greece on refugees and migrants on Friday if eight soldiers from Turkey are not retried in Greece. The soldiers fled Turkey for Greece following last year’s failed coup. Greece’s Supreme Court on Thursday rejected Turkey’s extradition request, saying they feared for the soldiers’ lives. In response to the decision, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu [official profile] was reported as saying “we are evaluating what we can do [in response to Greece hosting the soldiers], including the cancellation of the re-admission deal with Greece.” The agreement would slow down the current wave of migrants leaving Turkey for Europe. While the soldiers’ current asylum applications, which were denied, are currently being appealed, the Turkish justice ministry submitted a second extradition request.
Thursday’s decision [JURIST report] regarding the extradition request is the final. Lower courts in December were previously divided on the issue, with it being decided that three men would be extradited just after a court said three others should remain in Greece [JURIST report]. In November Erdoğan threatened [JURIST report] to send a new wave of migrants to Europe following a vote to halt negotiations [JURIST report] over EU 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. In September Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said [JURIST report] that approximately 32,000 people had been arrested in relation to the coup attempt, and 70,000 had been questioned.