TURKEY

Turkey condemns furlough to Greek terrorist

Turkey has "strongly condemned" a decision by the Greek authorities to grant 48 hours of freedom to Dimitris Koufodinas, a hitman in the notorious November 17 terrorist group, currently serving 11 life sentences for multiple murders.

He took part in the killing of Turkish Press Attache in Athens Çetin Görgü in 1991 and of Ömer Haluk Sipahioğlu, a counselor at the Turkish Embassy in Athens, who was gunned down in front of his home in 1994.

The counselor of the Turkish Embassy in Athens, Deniz Bölükbaşı, the administrative attache Nilgün Keçeci and the driver Adil Yıldırım were also wounded in separate attacks carried out by the same group.

"The release of a terrorist who claimed lives of our diplomats is disrespectful to their memories and their bereaved families," Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement. "We would like to underline once again that allowing a notorious terrorist to benefit from such arrangements does not comply with countering terrorism," it added.

Koufodinas was granted a four-day release on furlough on Saturday by the Greek authorities, which totals six days adding two days for safe conduct. This is the fifth furlough granted for Koufodinas in a year.

November 17 was active in Greece between 1975 and 2002. It is considered responsible for the assassination of 23 people in 103 attacks, which particularly targeted U.S., British, Turkish and Greek nationals.

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