Greek court clears way for Turkish servicemen to get asylum

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Greece's supreme court has cleared the way for the granting of asylum to eight Turkish servicemen who fled their country hours after an abortive military coup two years ago.

The case has heightened tensions between the two regional rivals.

A lawyer representing the eight said Thursday that judges rejected a challenge by the Greek government against an earlier decision granting asylum to the first of the eight.

His asylum had been suspended pending hearing of the government appeal, and will be reactivated once Wednesday's ruling is formally published.

The supreme court ruling is expected to apply to the other seven, too.

All eight deny Turkish claims that they participated in the plot. Greek courts have refused to extradite them, saying they would not get a fair trial in Turkey.