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Turkey Accuses Greece of Protecting 8 Rebels - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Ankara- Turkey has accused its neighbor Greece of offering protection to rebels after a Greek Supreme Court refused on Thursday to extradite any of the eight soldiers that escaped to the island the night of the July 2016 foiled coup attempt in Ankara.

Following the Greek court decision, the Turkish foreign ministry issued a statement, saying Ankara would carry out a comprehensive evaluation of the impact of this decision, “which we believe has been taken with a political motive – on our bilateral ties, cooperation in the fight against terrorism and on other bilateral and regional issues.”

The Greek Supreme Court decision is final and comes after two rounds of appeals.

The eight soldiers fled Turkey a few hours after the defeated coup and arrived to Greece where they immediately requested asylum.

Last August, the Turkish foreign ministry sent a request to the Greek authorities demanding their extradition and accused the men in question of being involved in the coup attempt.

The Turkish Justice Ministry earlier said the eight coup plotter soldiers hijacked five military helicopters from the Samandira Airbase in Istanbul at the coup night.

The latest Greek court decision is the last chapter in a series of tense developments that rule Greek-Turkish relations.

The new crisis came to escalate the already strained relations that have deteriorated in the past weeks following a round of negotiations held in Geneva in December between the foreign ministers of Britain, Turkey and Greece under the U.N. auspices.

During the talks, Greece said the presence of a security regime prevents finding a solution to the Cypriot crisis, while Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan responded by accusing Greece of evading the efforts to unite Cyprus and vowed to keep Turkish troops in the island to protect Turkish-Cypriot minorities.