Greece okays Turkish coup bid suspect’s asylum petition

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The Greek Asylum Commission on Tuesday accepted the petition of a second ex-Turkish soldier suspected of involvement in the July 2016 defeated coup, according to a Greek official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Greek news agency AMNA identified the suspect as Ahmet Guzel, a former major, adding that he would be released from detention.

The commission last December accepted the petition of another ex-Turkish soldier, Suleyman Ozkaynakci, but later the Greek government raised objections.

Ozkaynakci was released briefly after being granted asylum but was re-arrested again in light of the government’s objections.

Ruling on the objection, the Greek Council of State on April 19 ordered his release under strict control until the results of the asylum petitions of all eight suspected coup-plotters are resolved.

The council is expected to issue its final verdict on the asylum requests of all eight ex-Turkish soldiers later this month.

Under Greek law, the maximum detention period is 18 months, which will expire at the end of May for the all the suspects.

The eight former Turkish servicemen fled to Greece a day after the defeated 2016 Turkish coup. They are accused by Turkish authorities of involvement in the coup and being members of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (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.

The ex-soldiers are currently being 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 last year.

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