The office of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras issue a withering response to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s linkage of the case of the eight Turkish military officers seeking asylum in Greece with that of two Greek army officers imprisoned in Edirne’s top security prison for crossing the border into Turkey.
“The Turkish president, if he had something to say about the case of the eight [Turkish officers], could have said it directly to the Greek prime minister, or publicly during his recent visit to Athens,” the statement from PM’s office noted. “Today, he is choosing incomprehensibly to continue on a slippery road, putting two entirely dissimilar cases in the same balance.”
“We make it perfectly clear to him, therefore, that Greece operates under the rule of law, and has a prime minister who respects and is aware of the procedures of the Greek justice system, and not a Sultan, who can deliver promises about court decisions. If he [Erdogan] wishes to be the leader of a well-governed state, he must explain why Turkey continues to hold in prison two Greek army officers who did nothing more than cross the border a few metres into Turkish territory, as they were investigating illegal migrant flows,” the statement continued.
“At the same time, he knows well that in similar incidents in the past, both sides handled the situation in the framework of communication and of good will between neighbouring countries, which indeed are members of the same military alliance,” it concluded.