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Turkey’s hostage diplomacy is applied to Greece this time. An MP of junior coalition partner Independent Greeks (ANEL), Costas Katsikis claimed that Turkish President Erdoğan is taking the matter to exchange of the two Greek soldiers who are arrested on charges of military espionage and trespassing in a prohibited military zone in Turkey.


Spoke’s person of the government party SYRIZA Georgos Lazaridis said “We respect the decision of the judiciary. The exchange is not an option.”


According to Hürriyet’s Athens correspondent Yorgo Kırbaki’s news, ANEL’s deputy Katsikis spoke to tv channel Skai and said “ I think Erdoğan sent us a message for exchange after EU Turkey summit in Varna. If the leaders of the two countries can leave the Turkish and Greek judiciary aside, and agree on an exchange; in my own opinion, the issue can be sold. Although I do not know what it will cost.


But his remarks triggered a wave of indignation within ANEL. ANEL MP Dimitris Kammenos called on Katsikis to apologise to the families of the two soldiers. And he added that “Greek soldiers are not items for an exchange. He made a mistake. I would recommend that politicians should not express personal opinions.” After reactions, Costas Katsikis, sought on Wednesday to clarify that he was talking “hypothetically”.