Ankara denounced eight former military officers defected to Greece for a €5.6 million bounty

Ahead of the Greek Prime Minister’s arrival in Ankara, the Turkish Interior Ministry officially denounced the eight military officers who defected to Greece during the July 2016 foiled Turkish coup. The Turkish authorities consider the defected officials as conspirators to the coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Ankara escalated its provocations on Tuesday, ahead of the meeting between the Greek Prime Minister and Turkish President. The Turkish government issued an edict denouncing the eight servicemen for a bounty of 5.6 million. The list also incorporated four other military officials who have fled to other neighbouring countries. According to the Turkish edict, a bounty of 700.000 would be given for each of the eight servicemen who have been successfully captured and delivered to Turkish security authorities.

The former Turkish army officials successfully managed to escape imprisonment and entered the Greek soil a day after the foiled coup took place. The Greek judicial authorities considered them  eligible for asylum status and after the successful conclusion of court proceedings, granted them permanent settlement in Greece. The eight former officers are alleged to rotate between hidden housing shelters and enjoy custody protection. Ankara has repeatedly requested and even threatened Athens with countermeasures for the return of the eight officials. The Greek government warded off Turkish threats, claiming non-interference in the asylum case, respecting the judiciary’s self-governing character. The eight officials have been accused of plotting the deposition of the Turkish President in July 2016 under a plot orchestrated by the self-exiled Imam Fethullah Gulen – the greatest adversary of the Turkish President.

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