By Fatih Hafiz Mehmet
Greece is openly protecting Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) members, EU Affairs Minister Omer Celik said Friday.
His remarks came after Thursday's Greek court decision to release a Turkish coup plotter.
On Thursday, the Greek Council of State -- the highest administrative court in Greece -- ordered the release of ex-Turkish soldier Suleyman Ozkaynakci under judicial control.
"We see that Greece, an EU member, is openly protecting members of FETO who took part in the attempted coup in Turkey. Even releasing them means that Greece is encouraging coup plotters," Celik wrote on his Twitter account.
"Protecting these terrorists is partnering in this crime."
The minister said by releasing coup plotters Greece is rewarding the coup plotters.
"It is a breaking point in history that Greece, with whom we share the same table at international fora to protect democratic values, has become a state which protects enemies of democracy," he said.
He also commented on the recent tension between Turkey and Greece in the Aegean and Mediterranean.
Greece violates law
"While we are pursuing a serious fight against terrorists with our Operation Olive Branch, Greece’s intention is obvious as it is making provocations in the Mediterranean and Aegean in which its Minister of Defense is also involved. We see their intentions very clearly," he said
Celik said the Greek justice minister had announced a couple of days ago that the coup plotters would be released.
"This is even a more serious provocation than what the Minister of Defense has been doing," he added.
Celik said universal law never protects coup plotters.
He said Greece is violating the law in order to protect coup plotters and the law has been held captive to protect coup-plotting terrorists.
"Greece loves talking a lot about 'international law' and 'good neighborly relations' when it is in an unjustified position.
“Actually, Greece has now announced by protecting and encouraging coup plotters that it does not care at all about these notions," Celik said.
Coup plotter Suleyman Ozkaynakci
Ex- Turkish soldier Suleyman Ozkaynakci's asylum request had been accepted in December 2017 by an independent asylum commission in Greece, but later the Greek government raised an objection to it.
He was released briefly after being granted asylum but was arrested again after the government raised an objection to the asylum.
The Greek Council of State evaluated the government’s objection on Thursday and ordered the release of Ozkaynakci under strict control until the results of asylum applications of all eight Turkish coup plotters come out.
The Council of State is expected to make a final decision over the asylum requests of all the eight ex-Turkish soldiers on May 4.
According to the Greek law, the maximum detention period is 18 months, which will expire at the end of May for the all the coup plotters.
The eight former Turkish servicemen had fled to Greece a day after the defeated 2016 Turkish coup. They are accused by the Turkish authorities of being coup plotters and members of Fetullah Terrorist Organisation (FETO).
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup on July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
They are currently held in custody by Greek authorities. The case has been a bone of contention between the two countries.
The issue was also discussed during Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s landmark visit to Greece in 2017.