Turkey fights back after Greece denies extradition request

AP News
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Posted: Jan 27, 2017 7:07 AM
Turkey fights back after Greece denies extradition request

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey's top diplomat on Friday threatened punitive measures against Greece after the Greek Supreme Court ruled against extraditing eight Turkish officers who escaped from their country by helicopter after the failed coup attempt.

"We will take all necessary steps, including the cancellation of the bilateral readmission agreement" on refugees, the state-run Anadolu Agency quoted Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, as saying in the Turkish Mediterranean resort of Antalya. That agreement stipulates Turkey will take back migrants who crossed into Greece illegally and do not qualify for international protection.

"We cannot look positively upon countries that protect terrorists, traitors and coup plotters," Cavusoglu said. "Greece must know this."

"These are eight traitors who intended to kill our president — not petty criminals," he added.

Meanwhile, Turkey's justice ministry made a new extradition request for the eight Turkish servicemen, according to state-run Anadolu Agency.

Greece's Supreme Court Thursday rejected Ankara's first request on the basis that the servicemen were unlikely to face a fair trial if returned to Turkey.

Lower courts had issued mixed decisions on the return of the officers in a series of separate hearings.

The extradition case has soured complicated ties between neighbors and NATO allies Greece and Turkey, which remain at odds over war-divided Cyprus and boundaries in the Aegean Sea.