Two Greek soldiers facing espionage charges in Turkey are due to fly home early on Wednesday after a provincial court released them, in a ruling Athens said would help to improve strained ties between the two NATO allies.
The soldiers crossed into Turkey in March, in what Greece said was an accident while they were following the trail of suspected illegal migrants.
But a court in the western province of Edirne ordered their detention the same month on suspicion of attempted military espionage.
The same court ruled for their release on Tuesday after they said in a defense statement they had crossed the border by mistake, state news agency Anadolu said.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras welcomed the ruling.
“The release of the two Greek officers is an act of justice which will contribute to friendship, good neighbourly relations and stability in the region,” his office said in a statement.
On This Day
- 1909: The Great Powers demanded that Turkey negotiate the Cretan matter only with themselves and not Greece.
- 1999: A powerful earthquake (6.6 on the Richter scale) caused extensive damage to Izmit (Nicomedia) Turkey. Greek rescue units were among the first on the scene leading to a political rapprochement between the countries.
- 2004: Judo athlete, Elias Eliadis, won gold in the Athens Olympic Games.
- Deaths: Nikos Goumas (2001), President of AEK FC.