Turkish authorities deny entry to Greek Regional Gov. at Izmir on Saturday, detain him for 6 hours
- Written by E.Tsiliopoulos
Turkish authorities denied entry of a Greek regional governor to the country on Saturday, and also reportedly kept him detained in an office for six hours.
Apostolos Tzitzikostas, who is the Governor of Central Macedonia Region and the President of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), travelled by sea on the day from Thessaloniki toSmyrna (Izmir), to attend the Euro-Mediterranean Conference of the Committee of the Regions.
The Greek governor was given no explanation for being denied entry to Turkey.
According to sources, the European Union has been informed at the highest level of this incident, and so have the Greek Embassy in Ankara and the Greek Consulate General in Izmir.
Speaking on the phone with Greek Deputy Minister of the Interior for Macedonia-Thrace Stavros Kalafatis, Tzitzikostas underlined that this action by the Turkish authorities was entirely unprovoked.
According to the same information, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias were also immediately informed of this incident.
In a statement, the Greek Foreign Affairs Ministry condemned the "unacceptable and totally abusive detention and entry ban of the Governor of Central Macedonia by Turkish authorities in Izmir earlier on Saturday."
"We expect the relevant Turkish authorities to give an immediate explanation and we call on them to take the necessary measures to avoid similar incidents in the future," it added.
"The Greek Embassy in Ankara, as well as the Greek Consulate General in Izmir were mobilized from the first moment, making the relevant complaints to the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs," it noted.
Dendias to the rescue
Central Macedonia regional governor Apostolos Tzitzikostas and his colleagues returned to Greece with the government aircraft, which carried Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias to Greece on his return flight from the United Arab Emirates.
"We reacted from the first moment to the abusive detention of Central Macedonia local governor, Apostolos Tzitzikostas, and to the unacceptable entry ban by the Turkish authorities, and mobilized to provide assistance," Dendias posted on Twitter.
As the regional governor said, "just before 01:00 last night, we landed at Elefsina airport together with our friend Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias."
"Thank you once again for your love and support," he added in a post on twitter.
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