Will Athens cancel asylum for Turkish soldier?

The complex relationship between Athens and Ankara has become even more tense after Greece granted asylum to a Turkish soldier who fled to the country with seven other soldiers after the attempted coup in Turkey. The Turkish foreign ministry described the move by Greece as politically motivated. The government in Athens then announced that it was moving to cancel the asylum, which in turn has prompted an outraged response from Greek commentators.

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Naftemporiki (GR) /

Government too eager to please

The fact that Athens has reacted to criticism from Ankara and requested that the asylum decision be annulled does not put the Greek government in a good light, Naftemporiki criticises:

“It's contradictory and unclear. ... The government's announcement - made only half an hour after the statements by the Turkish Foreign Ministry and unparalleled threats against our country - is not particularly honourable for Greece - and what's more it sends the wrong message to the entire region. Greece's image is being harmed at a time when Athens is trying to resolve the name dispute with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and improve relations with Albania.”

Ta Nea (GR) /

What deal has Tsipras made with Erdoğan?

Ta Nea isn't at all surprised by the government's flip-flop:

“The Greek government has long since lost all credibility - if it ever had any, that is. There is reason to fear that behind the scenes plans based on fear, personal interests and other dark goals are underway. ... The distrust of the government is not the product of a general oppositional stance but arises from questions that haven't been answered. Has our left-wing prime minister really promised the Turkish president he would extradite the accused officers as soon as possible [as Erdoğan claims]? What did he mean when he promised Erdoğan during his recent visit that [the officers] would receive 'fair treatment' [in the asylum process]?”