(Greece) – The soldiers who fled Turkey in a Black Hawk Helicopter after the failed coup over this past weekend have been found guilty in Greece of illegal entry in a court hearing that took place on Thursday. They were given two month suspended jail terms and the soldiers remain in Greek custody. Currently, Turkey has been demanding that Greece return the soldiers to Turkey. However, all eight have applied for asylum in Greece. They will remain in Greek custody until their sentence is complete and until Greece is finished reviewing the asylum applications.
All eight soldiers have said that they fear that if they return to Turkey, they will face death. Although the death penalty was banned in 2004, there is talk that the Prime Minister of Turkey will reinstate it to punish those who were part of the failed coup last week. The eight soldiers have said that they were unaware that the coup was going on until after it had already started. They were ordered to evacuate wounded soldiers and it was only after the coup was underway that they figured it out. After they got shot at by Turkish military members who were not part of the coup, they began to fear for their lives.
Once they realized that a coup was underway and that they were associated it, they decided to leave Turkey and head for Greece. They arrived in Alexendropoulos, Greece after requested an emergency landing. On July 19, 2016 all eight men had their asylum interviews. Greece has said that they will speed up the process of reviewing the applications so that the matter could be closed. Turkey has said that despite their fears, they will have a fair trial once they do arrive back in Turkey. However, the government has also branded them as traitors.