The presidents, governments and parliaments of Turkey and Greece, the European External Action Service, the European Commission, the competent authorities of the EU member-states and Nato will be sent a European Parliament resolution passed today that calls for the swift trial and release of two Greece army officers imprisoned in Turkey, after being captured at the Greek-Turkish border at Evros on 1 March.
The resolution “Calls on the Turkish authorities to swiftly conclude the judicial process and release the two Greek soldiers and return them to Greece”, and further “Calls on the Council, the Commission, the European External Action Service and all EU Member States to show solidarity with Greece and call for the immediate release of the two Greek soldiers in any contacts or communications with Turkish leaders and authorities, in the spirit of international law and good neighbourly relations”.
Moreover, the European Parliament urges Turkish authorities “to scrupulously follow legal proceedings and fully respect, for all those concerned, the human rights enshrined in international law, including the Geneva Convention”.
The resolution notes that the officers stated that they lost their way in bad weather and inadvertenly crossed the Turkish border, and that, “that particular part of the border, in the forest area of Kastanies along the Evros/Meriç River, is a major crossing point for migrants, refugees and traffickers, and that the lieutenant and sergeant in question were on a regular patrol tour of the border”.
It also underlines the calls from EU and Nato officials for the soldiers’ release, “not least from the European Council on 22 March 2018 and during the EU-Turkey Leaders’ Meeting of 26 March 2018”.
The resolution also underlines the fact that the imprisonment of the officers without charges being filed for nearly two months is a patent violation of the European Convention on Human Rights, which states that, “Everyone who is arrested shall be informed promptly, in a language which he understands, of the reasons for his arrest and of any charge against him.”