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    Two of the eight Turkish soldiers who fled to Greece in a helicopter and requested political asylum after a failed military coup against the government, are brought to prosecutor by two policemen in the northern Greek city of Alexandroupolis, Greece, July 17, 2016.

    Turkish Soldiers Explain Why They Hijacked Helicopter and Fled to Greece

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    Eight Turkish soldiers who fled to Greece by helicopter following Friday’s failed coup said they were not involved in the unrest and had fled the country fearing for their lives, The Times of Changes website wrote.

    On Saturday morning a Black Hawk military helicopter carrying the eight Turkish servicemen made an emergency landing at the airport of the northern Greek city of Alexandroupoli.

    The arrivals – three Majors, three Captains and two Sergeant Majors — requested political asylum in Greece, which later returned the helicopter to Turkey.

    “We don’t know anything about the coup. Our commanders played an active role there, but we didn’t. We were ordered to land two helicopters outside Istanbul. We were transporting the wounded when they started firing at us from the ground. We feared for our lives because they would have executed us, so we decided to flee,” they said.

    The eight were held by police on charges of illegally entering the country were due to appear before a Greek prosecutor on Sunday morning.

    Their trial is scheduled for Monday. They are likely to be sent back to Turkey, but their official request for political asylum could hold up the deportation process, Athens News Agency reported.

    The process could take quite some time if the court decides that sending the defendants home could put their lives in danger.

    The Turkish parliament is considering a motion to bring back the death penalty for the putschists, while European laws do not allow the extradition of people to countries where they can be executed. Many observers believe the case could complicate Athen’s’ relations with Ankara.

    Meanwhile, thetoc.gr website reported citing Greek security sources that if the eight Turkish fugitives are granted asylum in Greece, many of their colleagues who took part in Friday’s failed coup in Turkey, could likewise try to seek political asylum in Greece.

    Related:

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    Released Video Shows Turkish Soldiers Surrendering to Istanbul Authorities
    Tags:
    failed coup, deportation process, Turkish soldiers, asylum request, trial, helicopter, Black Hawk helicopter, Greece
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