Greek court ruling on Turkish officer fuels fears for bilateral ties

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Greek court ruling on Turkish officer fuels fears for bilateral tiesTurkey is one of the main Mediterranean competitors of the Greek tourism industry and has been hit strongly by terrorism and political instability culminating in numerous coup attempts during recent years

With Turkish authorities insisting on the extradition of eight Turkish servicemen who fled their country after a thwarted coup in 2016, and amid rising tensions in the Aegean, there are fears in Athens of a further degeneration in Greek-Turkish relations.

An administrative appeals court is expected to rule this week on a request by the Greek government to block a tribunal’s decision to grant asylum to one of the eight Turkish servicemen. Lawyers representing the Greek state in the case maintain that granting asylum to the soldier could aggravate bilateral relations.

The decision expected this week is to be a temporary one, as the case is to be examined comprehensively in February. In any event, there are fears that if the court ultimately rules in favor of asylum for the serviceman, and his seven fellow soldiers, Athens will come under great pressure from Ankara.

If the asylum applications are turned down, it is almost certain that the eight men will appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, which would take the heat off Greece.

Meanwhile, it remains unclear what Athens will do if Ankara accepts a proposal by Justice Minister Stavros Kontonis for the eight men to be tried in Greece for the crimes they are accused of in Turkey. Legal experts argue over whether this is even possible.

On a visit on Saturday to the Aegean island of Kalymnos, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras extended a message of “cooperation, peace and friendship” toward Turkey. At the same time, nevertheless, he expressed Greece’s “decisiveness as regards the defense of its sovereign rights as set out in international treaties.”

Read more here.

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinations Greek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons Copyright: Mstyslav Chernov License: CC-BY-SA

Source: ekathimerini.com

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