World, Europe

Greek court ratifies Turkish coup plotter’s detention

Ex-officer's personal behavior, as well as his illegal entry, has been deemed as 'serious threat' to public order

16.01.2018
Greek court ratifies Turkish coup plotter’s detention Fugitive Turkish soldiers arrive at Supreme Court of Greece, "Areios Pagos", in Athens, Greece on January 26, 2017. (Ayhan Mehmet - Anadolu Agency)

By Tony Rigopoulos

ATHENS

A court in Athens on Tuesday ratified a detention order that was issued for former Turkish officer Suleyman Ozkaynakci on Jan. 8.

Ozkaynakci had fled to Greece a day after the defeated coup in Turkey in July 2016, along with seven other officers. He was the co-pilot of the helicopter that enabled them reach Greece illegally.

In December 2017, Ozkaynakci was granted asylum in Greece, a development that created diplomatic tensions between the two countries.

Since then, the asylum decision has been temporarily revoked by an administrative Greek court, resulting in Ozkaynakci's fresh detention by authorities.

His detention was legally questioned. Nevertheless, "Kathimerini" newspaper quoted Tuesday’s decision as saying that Ozkaynakci's "personal behavior, as well as his illegal entry in the country, consists for the administration a serious threat to public order and national safety".

The administrative court had back then suspended Ozkaynakci's asylum until Feb. 15 -- a date when the court is expected to announce its final decision.

None of the seven other ex-officers have been granted asylum, but their cases are expected to be reviewed in the following weeks.

In January 2017, the Greek Supreme Court had decided not to extradite the eight ex-officers to Turkey -- a ruling that the Turkish Foreign Ministry criticized as “politically motivated”.

FETO, led by U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen, orchestrated the defeated July 2016 coup in Turkey, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

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