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German media reported on Saturday that 40 members of the Turkish military who served at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation posts until a failed coup on July 15 have been seeking asylum in Germany due to fear of persecution and torture in Turkey if they return.

The three majors, three captains and two sergeant majors fled in a helicopter to Greece after last July's coup attempt in Turkey.

The German government has expressed alarm about the crackdown on alleged plotters linked to the coup while Turkey has criticized Berlin for failure to extradite alleged terror suspects.

However, on Thursday, the Greek Supreme Court ruled against the extradition, with presiding judge Giorgos Sakkas saying the men were unlikely to receive a fair trial in Turkey. "We are going to take necessary steps, including the cancellation of this readmission agreement", he added.

The eight soldiers have lost their jobs and had their passport confiscated.

The Turkish justice ministry has made a new extradition request, according to Turkey's state-run news agency Anadolu.

The agreement signed by Davutoglu and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in March of past year allows for asylum seekers who crossed into Greece illegally to be sent back to Turkey before being deported to their home countries.

The officials say they are victims of the purges triggered by the Turkish Government following the coup attempt on July 15th.

The controversial migrant deal signed in March 2016 between Turkey and the European Union has been vital in curbing the illegal and often risky crossing of migrants from Turkey's Aegean coast to nearby Greek islands.

Some 40 Turkish military service personnel, mostly high-ranking ones, who were stationed at the facilities of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in Germany have applied for asylum in the European country, German media report.

The officers seeking asylum in Germany is expected to be an issue during German Prime Minister Angela Merkel's visit to Turkey next week since Erdoğan accuses Germany of harboring terrorists.

Recent progress made in the Cyprus unification talks have been credited to years of rapprochement between Turkey and Greece, both North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members but fierce regional rivals who came to the brink of war multiple times in the last quarter of a century.

The issue has created tensions between Turkey and Greece who are also trying to negotiate a settlement over disputed Cyprus.


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