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Should Greece extradite the fugitive Turkish soldiers?

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Should Greece extradite the fugitive Turkish soldiers?

Postby Tim Drayton » Wed Sep 21, 2016 1:29 pm

From ‘the Times’ today:


Turkey will torture us, say defectors


Eight Turkish soldiers who fled to Greece after a botched coup have told The Times they will be tortured if they are deported.

The officers whose flight caused a diplomatic row between the two rival nations have been kept in police custody while Athens considers their requests for political asylum.

The two majors, four captains and two sergeants fled to northern Greece by military aircraft after a mutinous faction of Turkey’s armed forces moved to overthrow the government, hijacking fighter jets and helicopters to strike key installations and security forces.

“We came here to Greece, to Europe, to save our lives,” said one of the eight who declined to be named for fear of reprisals against family members still in Turkey. “We aren’t criminals. We shouldn’t be treated as criminals.”

The soldiers are now demanding their release from police custody, in which they have been held since arriving in Greece in late July: first in police cells in the northern Greek city of Alexandroupolis, then in a prison in Kavala, and now in a detention centre on the outskirts of the capital.

Athens initially appeared keen to extradite them quickly, but enthusiasm to do so has waned since its purge of thousands of military officials and civil servants to root out “traitors”.

The eight men, who describe themselves as “secular Kemalists opposing any taint of Islamist control in the military,” say they fear becoming high-profile scapegoats.“We don’t want to be extradited,” said one officer. “We know what awaits us. We know what’s happening in Turkey. We will be tortured.”

Since their arrest, all have denied allegations of taking active part in the July 15 coup, insisting that they had no prior knowledge and that they were merely following orders to pick up military personnel in Istanbul.

“We were ordered to fly to a location in Istanbul and help pick up some injured soldiers,” said the second officer interviewed by The Times. “But once we arrived, we came under heavy police fire. We were all unarmed and without bulletproof vests. We didn’t know what was happening until we landed at a safe location in the woods and took out an iPad to check the news.

“Once we realised what was happening,” he said, “our escape became a matter of life or death.”

Further asylum hearings for all eight soldiers are due to take place next week.

“It’s important that all the officers be given ample time and attention to explain the reasons they fear their persecution and death,” said Stavroula Tomara, the lawyer representing them.


3 comments

Martin Bell
Turkey's president Tayyip Erdogan is a religious fascist. His support for Syria's Moslem Brotherhood to bring down the Assad regime kicked off a hideous civil war, he has been passing Saudi funded supplies to Al Qaeda / Nusra Front, he presented ISIS / Da'esh with a fleet of 1,000 Toyota 4x4 pickups, until the Russians bombed his fleet of tankers he was funding ISIS / Da'esh by buying Syrian crude oil from them, and now he has sent his tanks into Northern Syria under the pretext of attacking ISIS / Da'esh but really to assault Syria's Kurdish YPG militia (advised by British Special Forces). For good measure his police were told to stand aside as hundreds of thousands of young Syrian men, refugees from the civil war Erdogan helped start, poured across the Aegean into Greece. Erdogan is one of the most destabilising factors in the Middle East and on no account should Greece hand these soldiers over to him. They will almost certainly be tortured by his secret police and since Erdogan sacked most of Turkey's judiciary the prospect of a fair trial is zero. I wouldn't object to them coming to the UK.

Bill Badger
It is imperative that these eight men are not deported back to Turkey both for their own safety and to send a clear message to the absurd backward thinking administration there that Europe does not approve.

Stephen G Spencer
Hopefully they will be granted asylum, but Turkey will exert great pressure on her smaller neighbour. Perhaps Chancellor Merkel might like to make them welcome, but then again they would not be safe in Germany. Erdogan has long arms.


http://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/world ... -j5sc0qqkg
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Re: Should Greece extradite the fugitive Turkish soldiers?

Postby Paphitis » Wed Sep 21, 2016 1:50 pm

No absolutely not! They should not be extradited.

There are Human Rights laws which prohibit their extradition. I believe that the men will be in danger of extradited or at the very least will not be guaranteed a fair trial.

Greece MUST grant the poor buggers asylum.

It took a lot of guts to fly into Greek Aurspace and land at a major airport. That is what I would call a desperate act.

I'm watching this closely and I would be very disappointed if Greece sends them back.

Give them Greek citizenship as well.
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Re: Should Greece extradite the fugitive Turkish soldiers?

Postby Paphitis » Wed Sep 21, 2016 1:56 pm

If Greece finds this to be a hot potato, then they should hand over the men to another country like Australia.

They will even be given jobs working on Australian Sea Hawk and Black Hawk as pilots with the Defence contractor used for testing and training.

We have a history of such things and I know of at least 1 Syrian Pilot who ended up working as a pilot on Australian Defence aircraft, then in surveillance and now works for QANTAS. Was given citizenship immediately and they did that through a bogus marriage.

I also know of a Russian engineer given Australian citizenship and now works in the Australuan Defence sector.

They are qualified people which can be utilized.

Plus, they shouldn't be in custody. Greece should be showing these men what Greeks are all about and treat them with respect and kindness. Their names need to be permanently suppressed in order to not put their families in any danger.

No reason to be releasing any names or to have an open asylum hearing.
Last edited by Paphitis on Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Should Greece extradite the fugitive Turkish soldiers?

Postby Tim Drayton » Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:21 pm

Curiously, there was talk of 14 Turkish warships going missing at the time of the coup, and there have been no reports (that I am aware of) about this ever since.
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Re: Should Greece extradite the fugitive Turkish soldiers?

Postby Tim Drayton » Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:25 pm

Here is an English-language report about the alleged missing warships:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2 ... ished.html
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Re: Should Greece extradite the fugitive Turkish soldiers?

Postby Paphitis » Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:26 pm

Tim Drayton wrote:Curiously, there was talk of 14 Turkish warships going missing at the time of the coup, and there have been no reports (that I am aware of) about this ever since.


I heard the same thing but nothing since.

Who knows?

The coupists managed to steal some fighters though.

When I heard this I was thinking to myself that these ships were going to head for Greece and request asylum as well. Imagine the headache this would have posed with half the Turkish Navy in Greece. :lol:
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Re: Should Greece extradite the fugitive Turkish soldiers?

Postby Paphitis » Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:41 pm

Btw, we all know very well that Turkey has been DAESH's and Al Nusra's biggest supporter.

They were instrumental in creating this disgusting war in Syria or at least inflame the situation.

I also feel that temperatures between the Coalition and Assad/Russia are increasing.

It's time the Coalition wake up to Erdogan as well who wants his cake and eat it too. He is all over the place and is very good at sitting on the fence, playing both sides as a member of NATO and being in bed now with Pootin.

They should be expelled from NATO.
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Re: Should Greece extradite the fugitive Turkish soldiers?

Postby Get Real! » Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:42 pm

I’d be disgusted if Greece were to send them back to face certain death!

They should at least give them a chance to try their luck in another EU country.
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Re: Should Greece extradite the fugitive Turkish soldiers?

Postby Paphitis » Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:47 pm

Get Real! wrote:I’d be disgusted if Greece were to send them back to face certain death!

They should at least give them a chance to try their luck in another EU country.


Maybe Cyprus.

Think about it! It's worth considering.
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Re: Should Greece extradite the fugitive Turkish soldiers?

Postby Tim Drayton » Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:57 pm

Paphitis wrote:Btw, we all know very well that Turkey has been DAESH's and Al Nusra's biggest supporter.


Agreed. Either, as some conspiracy theorists would have it, the West clandestinely created and continues to support Daesh, or Turkey has managed to slip the lead as a Western puppet and is managing to toe a more independent line. One plausible theory accounting for the 15 July coup, in my opinion, was that it was staged by the USA as a means to bring Erdoğan back into line.
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