In a letter to European Parliament President Antonio Tajani, the Turkish delegation to the Nato Parliamentary Assembly directly links the case of eight Turkish officers seeking asylum in Greece to that of two Greek army officers who were taken captive on the Turkish side of the Greek Turkish border at Evros.
Indeed, the head of the Turkish delegation to Nato's Parliamentary Assembly, Ahmet Berat Conkar in his letter appeared to set the extradition of the eight Turkish officers (who left their country after the abortive July, 2016 coup against Erdogan) as the condition for granting the two imprisoned Greek officers a fair trial.
“I would like to conclude by stating that the Turkish authorities and Turkish society expects the extradition of eight murderers immediately, and we assure you that two Greek soldiers detained will receive a fair trial in Turkey. We expect European Parliament to approach to the matter impartially and without any patronage for a member state,” Conkar concludes.
It should be noted that since the capture and imprisonment of the two Greek officers on 1 March, the Turkish judiciary has still filed no charges against them.
The letter is dated 31 May, and has been obtained exclusively by Ta Nea.
Conkar accuses European institutions of operating with a double standard in their approach to the eight Turkish asylum seekers, whom he refers to as murderers and criminals, and the two Greek army officers.
He criticises the European Parliament resolution that calls for the return of the two Greeks but not for the extradition of the eight Turks, and he accuses the Greek justice system of hypocrisy because it is leaving eight “criminals” without punishment.
Conkar also targets European Parliament member Eva Kaili, who presides over the EU-Nato committee in the European Parliament, for demanding the release of Greek officers Angelos Mitretodis and Dimitris Kouklatzis at a Nato meeting in Warsaw on 28 May.
Kaili asked the Alliance members why a country as strong as Turkey is exhausting all its strictness on two young people.