Greece will examine the request for political asylum of Turkish fugitives

Greece will examine the request for political asylum of Turkish fugitivesEight Turkish military officers were charged on Sunday with illegal entry and violating Greek airspace, when they fled to Greece by helicopter after a failed coup.

The men, who have sought asylum in Greece, arrived by military helicopter on Saturday after sending a distress signal to authorities at the airport in the northern city of Alexandroupolis.

They were prosecuted for illegal entry into Greece, their lawyer, Ilia Marinaki said, adding that they will appear in court on Monday.

The asylum seekers insist they took no part in the putsch and fled to Greece to save their lives “when policemen started shooting against them”.

Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Ankara had asked Athens to send the officers. The Greek police have identified the ranking of the Turkish military officials as two majors, four captains and two first-class sergeants, however Turkish sources initially said that they were two majors, a captain and five privates.

According to Athens News Agency, the Greek Prime Minister told Erdogan that the procedure for the Turkish asylum seekers will be swift but in line with international law and human rights treaties.

Greece said it will examine the request for political asylum made by the eight Turkish soldiers. Greek government sources estimate that the procedure will take up to two weeks.

Early Sunday, the Blackhawk helicopter the asylum seekers had used was flown back to Turkey.
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