The Turkish foreign ministry and the ruling AKP party today blasted a decision of a Greek High Court granting asylum to one of the eight Turkish military officers who fled to Greece to seek asylum after the abortive July, 2016 coup against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The Greek Council of State definitively rejected a petition by Greece’s migration minister to rescind the asylum that had already been granted to Suleyman Ozkaynakci, a Turkish Air Force pilot.
The Turkish foreign ministry statement said that the Greek High Court’s ruling contravenes international law regarding the combating of terrorism and also violates the Geneva Convention as regards the protection of refugees.
Ankara maintains that Ozkaynakci was involved in the coup attempt, which the Turkish government and judiciary attribute to the followers of Turkish preacher Fethullah Gulen’s movement, which Ankara has branded as a terrorist organisation.
The full Turkish foreign ministry statement is as follows:
“The Greek Council of State has put its signature to yet another scandalous decision by rejecting the objection of the Greek Government to the decision granting asylum to Suleyman Ozkaynakci, one of the culprits of the July 15th treacherous coup attempt.
This decision not only breaches Greece’s international obligations to combat terrorism, but also constitutes a violation of the provisions of the 1951 Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.
By rejecting the extradition of the putschist traitors, Greece has prepared the ground for such decisions, which offends the conscience of the Turkish nation.
The Greek authorities should not any further allow their country to provide a safe haven to treacherous coup plotters by using as an excuse their judiciary, which even violates international obligations of Greece by making unlawful decisions.
Ruling AKP party blasts Athens
In a series of tweets before the Turkish foreign ministry statement today, the spokesman of the ruling AKP party also denounced the Greek High Court’s decision and issued thinly veiled threats against Athens.
“We will resolutely continue our fight against coup plotters as we do against terrorism. In this fight, we will never forget who support terrorists by providing arms and who protect coup plotters by judicial decrees,” was one of six tweets in English.
“Crystal clear that Greek judiciary sided with Turkey’s enemies and coup plotters with this decree. This is much more serious and shameful than supporting terrorism.”
“Fight against coup plotters should also be based on principles likewise w/ the fight against terrorism. Double standards in fight against terrorism is tantamount to supporting terrorism. Judicial decrees which protect coup plotters are also tantamount to supporting coup attempt.”
“Coup plotters are the most dangerous enemies of our nation and state. Greek judiciary is siding with enemies of Turkey with this decree.”
“Greece suffered a lot from coups in the past but it is obvious now that there are other motives for Greek judiciary to leave the path of law and instead protect coup plotters.”
“Greek Council of State has ruled that the coup plotter terrorists who fled to Greece after the failed coup attempt of 15 July will be granted asylum status. It is another scandalous decree by the Greek judiciary to protect coup plotter terrorists.”