Turkey Says Greece Hiding Former Commandos Tied to Failed Assassination

(FILE photo by Eurokinissi/Stelios Misinas)

Two former Turkish Navy commandos accused of taking part in a failed attempt to kill President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are being hidden by Greece in a secret, high-security location, the Turkish news agency Anadolu reported.

According to the semi-official agency, Halit Cetin and Fatih Arik were technically freed from custody after their maximum 18-month detention period expired without a trial.

But with Turkey already agitated that Greece won’t return eight other soldiers seeking asylum after fleeing the failed July 2016 coup attempt against Erdogan, the commandos were said to have been taken to a place where they could be guarded until their asylum requests are reviewed.

With Turkey warning they could be kidnapped and forcibly removed from Greece, the eight other soldiers are in a military area guarded by riot police. Erdogan is furious that Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras wouldn’t overrule Greece’s highest court which barred their extradition, saying their lives would be in danger.

After Erdogan narrowly missed being assassinated, the two commandos reportedly fled over the border to Greece and requested asylum in February 2017 while the eight other soldiers immediately left and landed in northern Greece in a helicopter.