A Turkish court on March 5 rejected a request to release two Greek soldiers, who were detained “after crossing the Turkish border during bad weather,” private broadcaster CNN Türk and other local media have reported.

The lawyers formally requested their release from custody on March 5.

A Turkish court on March 2 placed the two Greek soldiers under arrest on espionage charges after they illegally crossed into Turkey, state media reported, in a move that risks a new flaring of tensions between Ankara and Athens.

The court in the northwestern province of Edirne ordered the pair to be charged with “attempted military espionage” and “entering a forbidden military territory,” state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

The Greek army said the two soldiers lost their way in poor weather while patrolling the area around the Meriç (Evros) river that separates the two countries.

The soldiers also said they got lost because of the weather conditions.

The Greek general staff’s spokesperson Vassilis Beletsiotis told AFP they were not accused of spying.

This incident comes amid an ongoing row between the two neighbors over the extradition of a soldier. On Jan. 23, the Greek justice minister said Greece would not extradite eight Turkish soldiers who fled there after the failed 2016 coup attempt, though an offer to try them in Athens has been left open.

Hurriyet Daily News