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Defence Min Kammenos adds to reactions over statements by Turkish Deputy PM

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National Defence Minister Panos Kammenos said that he will notify NATO of Turkey’s plan to abduct eight Turkish servicemen it seeks to try for involvement in a failed coup in July 2017, in statements made on Wednesday during the multinational “Salamis Storm 2018” defense exercise northwest of Piraeus.

Kammenos will attend an informal NATO defence ministers meeting on Thursday.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag condemned the release of eight Turkish servicemen who fled to Greece after the coup, when the legal limit of detention pending trial expired. All are in process of being granted asylum and to receive travel papers for Europe.

Late on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias had responded to the strong criticism of Greece and the prime minister, calling the Turkish reaction “misplaced and unacceptable.” Asked whether he thought Turkey was preparing to abduct the eight and try them there, he had responded that “Turkey knows very well we are not one of those countries it can play games with. Turkey can neither come abduct someone, nor does it have the right to do so, nor will we allow that.”

Kammenos, in his statements on Wednesday, said that he had briefed his Serbian and Romanian counterparts, present at the exercise, about the statements that “announce ahead of time – and in violation of every ethic, rule, and international law – the war operation he has already ordered for the abduction from a foreign country and NATO ally of the Turkish servicemen that Greek justice decided to release.”

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