Should Athens extradite coup plotters to Ankara?
Greek judges are this week hearing the cases of eight Turkish soldiers whom Ankara wants Greece to extradite to Turkey. The men were allegedly involved in the failed coup in July and escaped to Greece in a helicopter on the night of the putsch. Greece's political leaders and judges must not be intimidated by threats from Turkey, commentators warn, and demand asylum for the soldiers.
Greek judges must rule independently
The judges must not be influenced by politics, Protagon warns:
“As usual we have been told that the judges will make their decision independently. But as we know, this must also be confirmed in practice. Once again, Greece's justice system must demonstrate that it is independent of the obligations and goals of the government; that it is judging only whether these eight political refugees can have a fair trial, and whether their lives are in danger even before such a trial begins. The government's worries that Greece should not become a refuge for those persecuted by Erdoğan's regime because of the impact on bilateral relations are understandable. But this is one of the risks a democratic country must face.”
Soldiers must not be sent to hell
A court in Athens had approved Ankara's request for the extradition of three suspected coup plotters. Ta Nea is outraged:
“Is there any reasonable person in this country who doesn't believe they will be tortured or even killed if they are extradited and Turkey reintroduces the death penalty? … Yet nonetheless as the developments in the justice system indicate the country is preparing, at the behest of the government, to extradite these people to hell. … Greece has experienced a dictatorship, it has tragic memories of times of chaos, and these experiences made the country more mature. Greece should withstand the pressure. After all, the Turkish government won't be put in any danger simply because the right to asylum of eight people is respected.”