Alternate Foreign Minister George Katrougalos, in an interview with the Athens-Macedonian News Agency’s radio station Praktoreio 104.9 FM on Tuesday, called on Greeks not to fear a possible incident in the Aegean because Greece is powerful and has many allies.
“It is not Turkey‘s intention to trigger an incident. Turkey’s intention is to create tension and try to create – as in the past – conditions that render regions in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean “gray” in terms of international law,” he said.
Katrougalos also referred to Greece’s great diplomatic success and the recent decision of the European Council, which stipulates that Turkey’s provocations constitute a violation of international law.
Asked about the case of the eight Turkish soldiers who fled to Greece after the failed coup in Turkey, asking for political asylum, the minister said: “They will not be extradited to Turkey, they will not be given to Turkey in any way, because there are irrevocable decisions by the Supreme Court. They have sought asylum, this additional protection that the Geneva Convention grants to those who are fleeing political persecution.”
“The crucial question is whether they were actually involved in the attempted cout d’ etat,” he added.
Regarding the handling of the detention of the two Greek servicemen in Turkey, he explained: “The reason we adopted this tactics we used at the beginning of this episode was precisely because we wanted it a correlation with the true significance of a common border incident, which was not unusual for the region. We had the expectation that their trial would go ahead, that we would have a specific indictment and the case would follow its course. Now we see that time is passing and that Turkey seems to have thoughts of using the soldiers as political pawns, obviously our reaction must be different from that at the beginning of the episode.”