The Greek Prime minister’s office responded strongly on Sunday to comments made earlier the same day by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan regarding separate cases involving Greek and Turkish soldiers.
Erdoğan had complained about both Greek and the European Union demands that two Greek soldiers held by Turkey be released. The pair were arrested at the start of March after crossing the Turkish border, apparently after becoming lost in bad weather. Erdoğan noted that Turkey was still awaiting the return of eight Turkish soldiers who fled to Greece by helicopter in the immediate aftermath of a failed coup attempt in July 2016.
The Greek statement referred to an, “incomprehensibly slippery road of provocative attacks” and stated that, “Greece is a state of Law and has a Prime Minister who respects and acknowledges the procedures of Greek justice, not a Sultan who would be able to issue promises on (justice’s) decisions.”
The statement continued, “If the Turkish President had something to say about the affair of the eight (Turkish soldiers), he had the chance to say it both in private to the Greek Prime Minister and publicly during his recent visit to Athens. Today he chooses to continue an incomprehensibly slippery road of provocative attacks, counterbalancing two entirely dissimilar cases.”