ANKARA, May 16 (Xinhua) — Turkey on Thursday slammed Greece for acquitting nine members of the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) who were accused of attempting to assassinate Turkey’s president.
“The Greek court’s decision clearly disrupts the efforts on counter-terrorism in Europe,” Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a written statement.
He expressed the concern that Greece “has become a safe haven for terrorist organizations.”
The Athens court on Wednesday cleared the nine Turkish citizens of terrorism charges. They were arrested by Greek police in 2017 over suspicion of attempting to assassinate Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The arrests followed a major anti-terrorism police operation days before Erdogan’s visit to Athens in December 2017, Greek media reported.
Turkey has long been asking Greece to extradite the nine suspects after issuing arrest warrants against them.
The DHKP-C, listed as a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, has been blamed for a string of attacks in Turkey, including a suicide bombing on the U.S. embassy in Ankara in 2013.