Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu
By Bartholomew Madukwe with Agency report
Dissatisfied with a Greek court’s judgment that released from prison eight Turkish soldiers, who were accused of involvement in the 2016 abortive coup, Turkey, on Thursday, suspended its migrant readmission deal with Greece.
This was made known by Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, who was cited as saying the move was unacceptable. “We have a bilateral readmission agreement. We have suspended that readmission agreement,” Çavuşoğlu was quoted as saying, adding that a separate migrant deal between the EU and Turkey would continue reports U.S. News.
He added: “The Greek government wants to resolve this issue. But we also see there is serious pressure on Greece from the West. Especially on Greek judges”.
It was gathered that the Turkish soldiers fled to Greece following the July 2016 failed coup in Turkey.
Ankara, capital city of Turkey, demanded the Turkish soldiers be handed over, but Greek courts rejected the extradition request and the soldiers have denied wrongdoing and say they fear for their lives.
However, four Turkish soldiers were released on Monday after an order extending their custody expired and decision on their asylum applications is still pending.
In May, Greece’s top administrative court rejected an appeal by the Greek government against an administrative decision by an asylum board to grant asylum to one of the Turkish soldiers.
2001 BILATERAL DEAL
Under the bilateral deal signed in 2001, at least 1,209 foreign nationals have been deported to Turkey from Greece in the last two years, data from the Greek citizens’ protection ministry showed.
2016 ATTEMPTED COUP D’ETAT IN TURKEY
On 15 July 2016, a coup d’état was attempted in Turkey against state institutions, including the government and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
The attempt was carried out by a faction within the Turkish Armed Forces that organized themselves as the Peace at Home Council.They attempted to seize control of several key places in Ankara, Istanbul, and elsewhere, but failed to do so after forces loyal to the state defeated them.
TURKEY’S READMISSION DEAL WITH GREECE
“Greece is under immense pressure, particularly its judiciary, from the West. We have a refugee deal with the EU and we have a readmission agreement with Greece. We have suspended the deal with Greece” Çavuşoğlu asserted.
The readmission deal allows the return of “irregular migrants” to Turkey from Greece in exchange for Syrian refugees to be relocated within the EU.