Tuesday, February 5, 2019
After the failed coup attempt in 2016, several Turkish soldiers fled to neighboring Greece. Erdogan has since demanded their extradition. But Athens refuses. Now Ankara is taking more drastic measures.
Shortly before the arrival of the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Ankara, Turkey suspended a premium on alleged coups that had escaped to Greece. To this end, the Turkish Ministry of the Interior has included the eight soldiers in the Red List of the most wanted "terrorists", as the state press agency Anadolu reported. The reward per person for confiscation is four million Turkish Lira (about € 670,000).
The fate of the soldiers has long been a point of controversy between Athens and Ankara and will probably be the subject of the meeting between Tsipras and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the afternoon. After the failed coup in July 2016, the soldiers in Greece had been piloted to Turkey and had applied for asylum.
Erdogan demands her extradition. However, Athens mentions the independence of the judiciary. The Greek court rejected the extradition request regarding the human rights situation in Turkey. Three soldiers have now received asylum, the others are expected.
List of the most wanted "terrorists"
The Turkish leadership blames the movement for the US-based Islamic pastor Fethullah Gülen for the coup attempt. Since then, the authorities are against alleged Gülen supporters, but also against opponents. Erdogan had stressed in an interview at the weekend that the fight against the Gülen movement was far from over.
The list of the most wanted "terrorists" is classified according to importance in the categories red, blue, green, orange and gray. 74 ex-soldiers accused of attempting coups have been added to the list, according to Anadolu. Last year, according to official figures, around 52,000 people were behind bars for alleged connections with Gülen.