Greek asylum authorities yesterday began to listen to the first of eight Turkish military officers who have applied for asylum in Athens after the failed coup attempt that took place on the 15th of July 15. Meanwhile, Ankara continues to put pressure on Greece to extradite them to Turkey, and the most recent instance of this was when the Turkish Prime Minister called his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras on Thursday evening to discuss the matter.
The Greek asylum service said that no decision will be made with regards to their cases for “two or three months” and that the applications of the eight officers who have applied for asylum will “follow a totally normal procedure”. It added that one of the eight officers, Captain Feridun Coban was driven to the headquarters of the asylum service in Athens on Friday morning to have his case heard away from cameras.
His fellow officers will have their cases heard from Monday. They include three captains, two commanders and two sergeants who are accused by Turkey of involvement in the coup along with Coban. However, they deny the accusation levelled against them.
In the meantime, Athens Court of Appeal is considering the Turkish authorities’ request for the eight officers to be extradited, and it is expected that the asylum service will announce its decision soon.
In statements to the media, the officers expressed their fears about discussions to bring back the death penalty in Turkey, and said that if they are extradited to Turkey they will be the first ones to be given the death penalty.