16122018Headline:

Kouvelis: Αttempt to link fate of two Greek soldiers with Turkish ex-servicemen ‘inexcusable’

Attempts by a Turkish official to link the issue of the eight former members of the Turkish military that fled to Greece during the failed coup in Turkey with that of the two Greek soldiers being held in Turkey are “inexcusable” said Alternate Defence Minister Fotis Kouvelis, in comments aired by the Athens-Macedonian News Agency’s radio station “Praktorio 104.9 FM” on Monday.

Talking about the letter sent by the chairman of Turkey’s parliamentary committee at NATO Ahmet Berat Çonkar to European Parliament President Antonio Tajani, in which he sought to link the cases of the two Greeks jailed in Turkey with the fugitive Turkish ex-servicemen that sought and were granted asylum by Greek courts, Kouvelis called it “unacceptable and inexcusable” and pointed out that, in addition to any other facts relating to their case, the two Greeks were also NATO military personnel.

The Greek government will not be sending a representative to Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s swearing-in ceremony on Monday, Kouvelis added, because “it is not possible, following this unacceptable action relating to the detainment of our soldiers, for the prime minister, foreign minister or anyone else to attend.”

He also expressed cautious optimism that things will become clearer in relation to this affair during Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ meeting with Erdogan at the NATO Summit next week.