Erdogan Makes No Promises to Tsipras Over Detained Greek Soldiers

FILE - Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a statement on national television from his official residence in Istanbul, Sunday, June 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

After meeting Greek Premier Alexis Tsipras on the sidelines of a NATO meeting in Brussels, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Turkish journalists he’d show good will but still won’t release two Greek soldiers who’ve been detained since accidentally crossing the border on July 1.

Erdogan had already said the men were essentially hostages being used to force Greece to return eight Turish soldiers seeking asylum after fleeing a failed coup against him in July, 2016 in which they said they didn’t take part.

Greece’s highest court has barred their extradition, saying their lives would be in danger as Erdogan, in the aftermath of the attempt to overthrow him, has purged civil society and the military and said he’d like to bring back the death penalty, which is forbidden in the European Union he wants his country to join.

“Everyone knows our determination to fight the Gulenists. Mr Tsipras knows it too. I explained to him our insistence on the release of the eight putschists that escaped to Greece,” Erdogan told journalists according to SKAI TV, referring to Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish cleric living in Pennsylvania who the Turkish leader said is being efforts to take him out of power.

Erdogan said that Tsipras – who the Turkish leader earlier had said promised him the Turkish soldiers would be quickly returned – was being insistent about the two Greek soldiers Erdogan said “violated the border in Edirne,” the Turkish city where they are being held jail.

It was noted in Greece that he only referred to a violation of the border. “In order to sort out these issues, we agreed to make an effort in good faith,” he said.

The Turkish leader was also reportedly raised his demands that muftis assigned to the Muslim minority in Greece’s Thrace region be elected by the faithful, instead of being appointed by the Greek state, restoration of an Ottoman era mosque in downtown Athens, and the long-standing Cyprus issue.

5 Comments

  1. He,s made it very clear he wants a swap. Not only would we get our boys back but it would improve relations for us with these barbarians. The 8 Turks are not pro- Greek, they are anti-Erdogan! They do nothing for Greece except maybe start WWIII by us keeping them. Tsipras is probably the most incompetent of a long list of Greek politicians and thats as low as any human can be.

    1. Edrogan is a bully and you know how you treat bullies . You don’t bend to their willls . He arrest an American priest in Izmir and he wants to swap with Gulen . There are hundreds of Turkish NATO officers in Germany and Belgium, they don’t want to go back to Turkey .he will torture and put them to jail . If I was tsipras I will arrest a Turkish cost guard ship entering Greek territorial waters that’s a spy violation 250 meters in Greek sea we have lots of secrets installations as turkey has by evros which is a crop , I serve all my millitary time that time was long 28 months by the same spot he crab those 2 soldiers , and I like to tell mr Edrogan is nothing in that distance , with the tank optical glass I could see 10 Millie’s into turkey and a fly on the nose of the immam on the top of the minarets in Edirne grab those 5,6 last gurafd men and swap them with the 2 Greek soldiers . But tsipras is a young Greek peacefull guy . No good when you face a bully . I have experience with bullies Now Greece got a punch in Cyprus smacks every day airspace violations I think Edrogan needs a kick on hi back side , not a friendly gesture I like the people of Turkey but the goverment is very bad , for the Turks and The neighboring countries .you can’t be ftriend with a person like him unless you donate half Greek land to Turkey .

    2. I wrote a comment but disappeared. Maybe Turkish conspiracy? Lol it’s too late I will try again manana

  2. I see I had to click save my name sorry was my fault I did wrote a long comment before . Please except my apology.

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