Turkish officers escorted by
Greek police officers leave the courthouse of Alexandroupoli after
appearing before a Greek prosecutor, on July 17, 2016. (AFP photo)
Eight Turkish military
officers, who had landed in Greece after an attempted coup failed in
their homeland, have been charged by Greek prosecutors.
said Sunday that the eight, who had arrived by a military helicopter
at the airport of the northern Greek city of Alexandroupolis,
were charged with illegal entry into Greece.
Ilia Marinaki said the men will go on trial on Monday, adding that they remained in custody and had not made contact with their families.
in Athens said the men had violated Greece’s airspace and should face
charges of illegal entry. The officers had sought asylum, saying they
did not participate in the attempted coup and only escaped to Greece to
save their lives as police were trying to shoot down their helicopter.
said the officers feared for the safety of themselves and their
families. She said all of them are married and are in their forties.
Turkish government and military say more than 250 people were killed in
the course of the coup in the country which unfolded late Friday and
was declared as failed a day later. The government has launched a harsh
crackdown on those believed to have been behind the failed putsch.
has officially asked Greece to send the officers back. Greek government
sources said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had made a phone call to
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and thanked the Greek leader for the
support he showed to the Turkish government during the coup. They said
Tsipras also vowed that the legal procedure for the Turkish asylum
seekers will be swift.
Earlier on Sunday, Athens sent back to Turkey the helicopter used by the officers.