Turkey condemns consulate staff arrest in Greece

By: AFP      Published: 10:11 PM, 18 Dec, 2020
Turkey condemns consulate staff arrest in Greece

Turkey on Friday condemned the arrest on suspicion of espionage of a Greek employee at the Turkish consulate on the Greek island of Rhodes.

The Rhodes examining magistrate on Friday issued an arrest warrant for Sebahattin Bayram, a 35-year-old secretary at the Turkish consulate.

Greek media reported the arrest of another Greek national in connection with the case who worked on a ferry as a cook.

CNN Greece said the second man is suspected of reporting the position of Greek Navy ships to Turkey, and providing other information concerning Greek military forces.

The Turkish foreign ministry said the espionage charge against Bayram also stemmed from his "taking photographs of vessels".

It said Greece violated international convention on consular relations by arresting Bayram, adding that the case against him was "constructed by certain circles willing to increase tensions in relations with Turkey".

It made no mention of the second man who worked on the ferry.

Relations between the two NATO allies deteriorated sharply this year as Turkey ramped up exploration for natural gas in eastern Mediterranean Sea waters claimed by Greece.