The nine Turkish nationals arrested by Greek Police in raids yesterday in the middle class Athens neighbourhoods of Neos Kosmos and Kallithea are appearing before an Athens prosecutors today.
The eight men and one woman are believed to be members of the Turkish DHKP-C, members of which had been arrested in Greece in 2011 and 2014 in Thessaloniki and Athens.
The DHKP-C is a Marxist-Leninist party in Turkey that includes a military arm and is classified as a terrorist group by the US and the European Union.
The evidence confiscated by police in yesterday’s raids includes a Czech CZ (Ceska Sbrojovska) pistol that is used by marksmen, digital evidence, detonators, commercially available material that can be used in bomb construction, and travel documents.
DHKP-C has in the past been implicated by Turkish authorities in the Ergenekon scandal and later linked by the government to Fetullah Gulen, whom Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has blamed for the failed coup attempt against him, in July, 2016.
‘No link to Erdogan visit’
The arrests come just one week before Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Greece.
“There are no indications that would lead us to believe that the individuals arrested were preparing an attack during the visit of Erdogan to our country,” Toscas said.
Toscas downplayed any political significance of the arrests, and he underlined that Turkish authorities were not involved in tracking down those arrested, either with information or operationally.
One of the accused had a pending arrest warrant for involvement in a 2013 weapons transport on a ship that was tracked down off the tiny Aegean island of Oinouses, near the northeastern Aegean island o Chios.
The cargo of heavy weaponry that was confiscated at that time was headed for Turkey, allegedly for use by the DHKP-C.