Asylum hearings have begun in Greece for a group of 8 Turkish soldiers who fled there from Turkey after last month’s failed coup.
Point of view
"We are ready to do everything humanly possible and legally feasible, with utmost diligence, to avert the extradition of these eight innocent people to Turkey"Defendants' lawyer
The case has underscored lingering tensions between NATO allies and neighbouring countries Greece and Turkey.
The eight soldiers flew a military helicopter to the northern Greek border town of Alexandroupolis on July 16.
The group sought political asylum but were arrested and later sentenced to two months in jail on charges of entering Greece illegally.
What was the reaction from Turkey?
Turkey has formally sought their extradition, calling them “traitors” and “terrorist elements”.
The extradition demand will be ruled upon separately by a panel of Greek judges.
Turkey has detained thousands of soldiers, including half its generals, since the July coup.
Turkey’s attempted coup
An attempted coup had taken place in Turkey on July 15.
The men – three majors, three captains and two sergeant majors – deny any involvement in the coup.
Their lawyers say they fear for their lives if they return to Turkey.
“We are ready to do everything humanly possible and legally feasible, with utmost diligence, to avert the extradition of these eight innocent people to Turkey,” – their lawyer Stavroula Tomara said outside the court.