8 seek asylum in Greece
A Turkish helicopter carrying eight men landed in Greece Saturday and the men aboard requested political asylum, Greek government spokeswoman Olga Gerovasili said.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in a tweet requested “the immediate surrender of eight heinous soldiers.”
But Greece will not necessarily return the alleged coup plotters, the Greek foreign minister said Saturday in a statement.
The asylum request “will be examined based on the provisions of Greek and international law,” Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias said.
Cavusoglu and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke Saturday evening, according to State Department spokesman John Kirby.
Kerry gave his support to the Turkish government and said the United States backs Turkey in taking measures to protect its civilians.
The U.S. statement also said, “Secretary Kerry also urged restraint by the Turkish government and respect for due process — and its international obligations — as it investigates and uncovers additional information about those involved. He made clear that the United States would be willing to provide assistance to Turkish authorities conducting this investigation, but that public insinuations or claims about any role by the United States in the failed coup attempt are utterly false and harmful to our bilateral relations.”
Witnesses described hours of chaos in Turkey overnight, including explosions, gunfire and low-flying jets.
Bombs struck the Parliament building in Ankara. A helicopter allegedly stolen by coup plotters was shot down by an F-16.