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Turkish court extends custody for two Greek soldiers in Edirne high security prison

The prosecutor of the court in Edirne – Adrianoupolis – extended on Tuesday noon the custody for the two Greek soldiers currently in high security prison of the city. Their lawyers had submitted a release application. Now they will be allowed to submit a new release application after one month, state broadcaster ERT reported. Greek soldiers, Aggelos Mitretodis and Dimitris Kouklatzis will remain in prison until all date regarding their case will be thoroughly examined, Turkish media reported.

This is the Turkish respond to high-ranking European Union and European Commission verbal pressure at the EU-Turkey Summit in Varna on Monday.

“Turkey must release the detained Greek servicemen,” Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said at the press conference following the summit adding he was hopeful the release would take place before the Greek Orthodox Easter, which is on 8. April this year.

According to Greek media, EU President Donald Tusk and Juncker talked with President Erdogan for 20 minutes about the soldiers’ release. The Turkish President reportedly “left a window open but without commitment.”

Tuesday morning, Defense Minister Panos Kammenos also expressed hope for an upcoming release before Easter citing Juncker’s pressure.

After the frustrating developments, the Greek government is eyeing at Russian President Vladimir Putin who has promised to Tsipras during a phone conversation last week to speak with Erdogan about the soldiers’ release, when the two leaders meet in Istanbul on April 3rd.

The two Greek soldiers were arrested on March 1st, after they accidentally crossed into Turkish territory due to bad weather conditions in the Evros area, North-East Greece.


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