Turkey issues arrest warrant for coup suspects in Greece
ISTANBUL - Turkey on Thursday issued an arrest warrant for eight former army officers who fled to neighbouring Greece after the failed July 15 coup, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
The Istanbul court approved a request from prosecutors for the warrant, shortly after Greece's Supreme Court refused to extradite the former officers sought by Ankara over their alleged role in the attempted putsch.
The Greek court blocked the extradition of the former officers -- two commanders, four captains and two sergeants -- on grounds they would not be subjected to a fair trial in Turkey.
And it ordered their release from police custody.
Since the failed coup, Turkey has sacked or dismissed thousands of members of the military, some of whom have sought asylum in other NATO countries.
Turkish authorities have blamed US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen for the coup bid and responded with a vast crackdown to clean state institutions and the army of his followers.
The extradition bid has become a source of friction between Ankara and Athens, with Greek foreign ministry officials holding closed-door talks with their Turkish counterparts in Ankara, the private NTV television reported.
Earlier this month, reports in the Turkish media said the fugitive soldiers were linked to the squad which tried to assassinate Erdogan on the night of the coup, citing judicial sources.