Greece refuses to extradite officers back to Turkey

Greece refuses to extradite officers back to Turkey
Greek courts have blocked attempts by Ankara to have three Turkish military officers extradited back to the country, saying the request lacked evidence and fearing they might not be safe.
2 min read
05 December, 2016
The men fear they could face torture if they return to Turkey [Anadolu]

A Greek court has rejected the extradition of three Turkish military officers wanted by their homeland over alleged involvement in July's failed coup, a judicial source said.

Eight officers have sought asylum in Greece and argued that they would face threats to their personal safety if they were returned to Turkish custody.

The Greek court agreed with their claims, following a massive crackdown on Turkish authorities on suspected government opponents.

Lawyer Stavroula Tomara said the "humiliating" treatment and "torture" meted out to other coup suspects in Turkey had made an impression on the Greek court.

The court said that Turkish authorities have not presented sufficient evidence they were involved in the coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the source said, while Ankara could still appeal the decision.

The men fled to Greece following the failed coup attempt in July, leading to a massive crackdown on workers suspected of having links to US-based cleric Fethullah Gullen who Ankara blames for the planned putsch.

Civil servants, police officers, soldiers, teachers, journalists and many more have been caught up in the drag net set up by authorities to nab suspected opponents.

Human rights groups argue that torture has taken place and suspects are being held without trial or access to lawyers.

The UN also warned last week that torture was "widespread" in Turkey.

Ankara said that court cases will eventually be held and that the suspects will have the opportunity make their points heard.

Agencies contibuted to this story.