Turkish-Dutch suspects deny plotting to kill Erdogan
Two Dutch-Turks currently in custody in Greece deny that they planned to murder Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, their Greek lawyer Ioanna Kourtovik said to newspaper AD.
26-year-old Anil S. from Amsterdam and 23-year-old Burak A. from Eindhoven are two of a number of suspects arrested in Athens in November last year, shortly before Erdogan was scheduled to visit the Greek city. They are all suspected of planning to assassinate Erdogan and of belonging to Turkish left-wing extremist group DHKP-C.
"My clients deny those accusations", lawyer Kourtovik said to AD. "They were in Greece as tourists. They had absolutely no violent plans and we have not seen any evidence for that. Nothing in the file can prove that there was a murder plan." They also deny being members of a terrorist organization.
According to the lawyer, the Greek Public Prosecutor wants to keep the two in custody until their trail, probably only late this year. "My clients are angry about that, but there is nothing to do. We will make a new request for their release. But the judiciary is afraid that they will flee the country as soon as they are released.
S. and A. have been on the Netherlands' national terrorist list since August 2017, because they are suspected of being active for banned organization DHKP-C, AD reports. Intelligence agency AIVD has been keeping an eye on them for some time. Anil S. was also arrested in Turkey in 2015 for participating in a banned demonstration.
"They are socialist guys, fiercely fighting against fascism in Turkey", a friend of Anil. S. said to AD. "They get wound up about what is happening in Turkey. There is no more freedom of expression, dissenters are suppressed. But these guys are no terrorists, they would not hurt a fly."