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Turkey threatens punitive measures over Greek extradition block

Turkey's top diplomat has threatened punitive measures against Greece after the Greek supreme court ruled against extraditing eight Turkish servicemen who escaped the country after last year's failed coup attempt.

Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said: "We will take all necessary steps, including the cancellation of the bilateral readmission agreement on refugees."

That agreement stipulates Turkey will take back migrants who crossed into Greece illegally and do not qualify for international protection.

Mr Cavusoglu said: "We cannot look positively upon countries that protect terrorists, traitors and coup plotters.

"These are eight traitors who intended to kill our president - not petty criminals."

Turkey's justice ministry has made a new extradition request for the eight Turkish servicemen.

Greece's supreme court rejected Ankara's first request on the basis that the servicemen were unlikely to face a fair trial if returned to Turkey.

Lower courts had issued mixed decisions on the return of the officers in a series of separate hearings.

The extradition case has soured already-complicated ties between neighbours and Nato allies Greece and Turkey, which remain at odds over war-divided Cyprus and boundaries in the Aegean Sea.

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