Greece’s appeals court has refused Ankara’s request to extradite three soldiers who fled across the border after last year’s failed coup attempt in Turkey.
The three men are part of a group of eight Turkish soldiers who claimed asylum in Greece on 16 July 2016. The three majors, three captains and two sergeant majors said that they feared for their lives back home.
Turkey’s initial extradition request for all eight men was blocked by Greece in January this year.
Rulings on the second requests made in all of the remaining five cases are expected in the coming weeks.
The soldiers have been accused by the Turkish government of attempts to abrogate the constitution, dissolve Parliament, and assassinate President Tayyip Erdogan. They also stand accused of using violent means to seize the helicopter they used to flee to Greece.
The Turkish government has detained thousands of soldiers, including half of its generals, following the failed coup.
The soldiers’ case has further strained the relationship between Turkey and Greece, which was already difficult in the context of ethnically-split Cyprus.
Turkey has threatened Greece with various measures if the soldiers are not sent back, including the scrapping of a bilateral migration deal.