Opposition chief Kyriakos Mitsotakis called on Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to respond to claims by a Turkish government spokesman that Athens had pledged to extradite eight Turkish servicemen wanted by Ankara in connection with the botched coup of 2016.
Mitsotakis said that it was time for Tsipras to “give some answers” with regards to “unacceptable” Turkish comments.
He was referring to an angry reaction on Monday night from Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag after the last of the eight servicemen wanted in Turkey were released into protective custody as the maximum period of pre-trial detainment expired.
The Turkish spokesman accused Tsipras of going back on a pledge to see to the officers’ extradition, while also saying that its is “our duty to find those ‘putschist’ soldiers… pack them up and bring them to Turkey.”
“The most recent Turkish comments on this issue are unacceptable. Greece is a member state of the European Union and has a duty to uphold the principles of European law; to defend human rights and, of course, to respect the autonomy and independence of the Greek justice system,” Mitsotakis told a meeting of his shadow ministers in Athens on Tuesday.
“The government must at some point stop being silent over these Turkish claims of promises that Mr. Tsipras is said to have made for the extradition of the eight officers,” he added. “It is time for Mr. Tsipras to finally give some answers on the issue.”