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EU Parliament calls on Turkey to immediately release the two Greek soldiers

The Plenary of the European Palriament has compiled a motion for a resolution “on the violation of human rights and the rule of law in the case of two Greek soldiers arrested and detained in Turkey.” It calls for the Turkish government to immediate release the two Greek soldiers and on the Commission as well as the EU member-states to end accessions negotiations with Turkey and suspend pre-accession funds.

Sublieutenant Aggelos Mitraitodis and sergeant Dimitris Kouklatzias were arrested by Turkish gendarme forces on March 1st after they accidentally crossed into Turkey. They are being held in the high security prison of the town of Edirne, NW Turkey. They are in custody for the 49th consecutive day and without charges raised by the prosecutor.

The motion is to be voted on Thursday, April 19th. It is expected to be adopted with overwhelming majority, as the MEPs see the two Greek soldiers also as European soldiers.

Amendment

A. whereas Turkey’s military provocations of Cyprus and Greece, especially against Greek border and military personnel, constitute violations of those Member States’ border rights; whereas on 10 April 2018, Greek troops on the Greek island of Ro had to resort to firing warning shots to prevent a border violation when a Turkish helicopter approached Greek territory; whereas on 9 February 2018, Turkish warships obstructed a drill rig contracted by the Italian energy firm ENI when it approached an area it intended to explore for natural gas in the Republic of Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone; whereas on 12 February 2018, a Turkish patrol boat deliberately rammed a much lighter Greek coastguard vessel that was anchored off the Greek island of Imia in the Aegean; whereas on 2 March 2018, two Greek soldiers were detained by Turkish forces after allegedly having crossed the border into Turkey in a heavily forested border region in poor weather conditions, and whereas there are doubts as to whether this really happened on Turkish territory;

1. Calls on the Turkish authorities to swiftly conclude the judicial process and release the two Greek soldiers and return them to Greece.

1. Calls on the Turkish authorities to swiftly conclude the judicial process and absolve the Greek soldiers of any suspicion of espionage; criticisms the decision of the Turkish court which rejected their repatriation;

Refers to the judgment of the Greek Supreme Court, which ruled that the eight Turkish soldiers, who flew to Greece in a helicopter during the coup attempt of 15 July 2016 and sought asylum would not be extradited to Turkey; reminds Turkey that these soldiers were seeking political asylum because they feared torture and reprisals in their homeland owing to their political views

Calls on the Commission and the Member States to put a definitive end without delay to the negotiations on the accession of Turkey to the EU; calls for the definitive suspension of the pre-accession funds.
the motion came upon initiative of Greek MEPs from the Left GUE/NGL and conservative EPP.
EU Parliament motion in pdf here

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