18/12/2020–|Last updated: 12/18/202011:07 PM (Mecca)
The Turkish Foreign Ministry condemned the Greek authorities ’arrest of an official in the Turkish consulate on the island of Rhodes on charges of espionage.
“The Greek authorities have violated international treaties, after the arrest of the contracting employee with the consulate, Sabah al-Din Bayram, a Greek citizen, as part of an investigation into allegations of espionage over taking pictures of ships,” she added in a statement on Friday.
The Turkish statement clarified that the Greek side violated the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and the right to freedom and security stipulated in the European Convention on Human Rights, as well as violating personal and family privacy, during the procedures that led to Bayram’s arrest.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also expressed its concern about the way the Greek media dealt with the issue, noting that media outlets violated the “presumption of innocence” (the legal principle that considers a person innocent unless proven guilty) and targeted the aforementioned employee, his family, Turkish representations to Greece, and the employees of those representations.
The statement stressed that the ministry believes that the investigation is being organized by circles seeking to escalate tension between Greece and Turkey, and that the latter will take the necessary steps in order to guarantee the rights of the consulate employee.
On Friday, the police arrested Bayram, who works for the Turkish consulate on the island of Rhodes, after questioning him a week ago. She also arrested another Greek citizen.
“One person worked at the Turkish consulate in Rhodes and another worked as a chef on a cruise ship operating between Rhodes and Kastellorizo,” a Greek police official told Reuters.
One of the suspects is accused of filming Greek army movements in the Aegean Sea. Meanwhile, Greek media reported that these two people belong to a Greek Muslim minority stationed in the north of the country.