EVROS – A Greek police officer visiting Turkey who was arrested for allegedly walking into a forbidden zone on the border with a female companion was released without charge by a court but will stay until their cell phones are checked.
The 41-year-old officer, who was not identified, and his female companion were taken into custody while returning to Greece from a day out in the city of Edirne, about 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) from the border between the countries.
Turkish police said he had trespassed into a No-Go zone between the countries and apprehended them for questioning, while also seizing their cellphones, bringing worry in Greece he could be charged with espionage, said Kathimerini.
He is assigned to a police station in the border town of Feres along the Evros River which is a crossing point for refugees and migrants trying to sneak into Greece, now heavily guarded and with a wall extended to keep them out.
He was off-duty, the report said, and had gone with his companion for day trip to the nearby Turkish city. It wasn’t said how, why or if they had gone into an area where they were not allowed.
Greece’s Citizens’ Protection Ministry said their release was contingent on remaining there for 48 hours while investigators study the content of their cellphones to make sure it doesn’t contain sensitive data, the report added.
In August, 2018, Two Greek soldiers freed after months in a Turkish prison returned to Greece by government jet after their unexpected release by a provincial court there.
The men were arrested five months earlier for unlawfully entering Turkey after crossing the heavily militarized land border. Greece strongly protested their detention in Edirne, arguing that they strayed across during a patrol of a trail of suspected illegal immigration amid poor visibility due to bad weather.