Erdogan, Tsipras discuss extradition of coup soldiers

By Etem Geylan, Halil Ibrahim Baser and Furkan Naci Top

ISTANBUL/ATHENS (AA) – Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras telephoned President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday to confirm that “whatever necessary” would be done to ensure the extradition of eight Turkish military officers who fled to Greece after Friday’s failed coup attempt.

Tsipras said there was no room for coups in democracies, and the Greek government stood by and respected the elected government of Turkey, and the will of the Turkish nation, according to a Turkish presidential source.

Erdogan in turn thanked Tsipras for his sentiments and support, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity, due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

Meanwhile, Greek officials confirmed that a team from the Turkish Armed Forces had arrived in Greece to bring back the helicopter the officers escaped in.

Greek police had said earlier that the helicopter landed at Alexandroupoli airport, near the Greek-Turkish border, at around 11.50 a.m. local time (0850GMT).

The soldiers who were arrested and sought political asylum in Greece are going to be sent to the prosecutor’s office Sunday, the officials said.

*Hale Turkes contributed to this story from Ankara.