Greek judiciary slammed for backing 'enemies of Turkey'

By Faruk Zorlu

ANKARA (AA) – The Greek judiciary has supported "enemies of Turkey" by granting asylum to coup plotters, the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party said on Wednesday.

In a Twitter post, AK Party spokesman Omer Celik said: "The Greek judiciary stands by the enemies of Turkey and coup plotters. This is a more severe and embarrassing stance than supporting terrorism."

The statement came after Greece’s General Council of State rejected the Greek government's appeal against the asylum of one of the eight ex-Turkish soldiers who fled to Greece after the July 2016 defeated coup.

"We will never forget those who support terrorists with weapons and those who support them by judicial decisions," Celik said.

"The judiciary's decision to protect coup plotters in Greece, which itself suffered from coups in the past, shows that the law has been set aside," he said, adding that the Greek judiciary had taken its decision for "other purposes".

The General Council of State, which is the supreme administrative court of Greece, made its decision on Suleyman Ozkaynakci's case Tuesday, setting a precedent for other cases involving seven fugitive Turkish soldiers.

A few hours after the July 2016 defeated coup to overthrow the Turkish government, eight ex-military personnel had arrived in Greece on a hijacked Black Hawk helicopter and requested asylum.

Turkey had immediately issued an extradition request, which was eventually declined by the Greek Supreme Court in January 2017, after a series of trials and appeals.

Turkish authorities accuse the soldiers of being involved in the defeated July 2016 coup and being members of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup on July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.