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NO:78 -;18 May 2007, Press Release Regarding the 17 November Terrorist Organisation.;(Unofficial Translation)


The decision of the Court of Appeals in Athens, announced on 9 May 2007 concerning the law suit at which members of the 17 November terrorist organisation were tried for murdering late Counsellor Haluk Sipahioğlu and late Press Attaché Çetin Görgü and wounding Ambassador Deniz Bölükbaşı and personnel of the Turkish Embassy in Athens through their abhorrent acts, has been noted with pleasure.

With this decision Court of Appeals in Athens sentenced Dimitris Kufodinas to 15 years and Sotirios Kondilis to 10 years heavy imprisonment and Aleksandros Yotopulos to imprisonment for life for the murder of Counsellor Ömer Haluk Sipahioğlu; Aleksandros Yotopulos and Dimitris Kufodinas to imprisonment for life for the murder of Press Attaché Çetin Görgü; Dimitris Kufodinas and Vasilis Corcatos to 44 years each and Aleksandros Yotopulos to 53 years of heavy imprisonment for having attempted assassination against Ambassador Deniz Bölükbaşı.

We see this court decision as a considerable step taken within the scope of international cooperation in the field of combating terrorism.

Turkey stresses with strongest terms in all its multilateral, regional and bilateral contacts her view that terrorism, whatever cause, pretext and claim it might allege, does not have any justification and it should be condemned unreservedly under all circumstances. Turkey describes terrorism as a major violation of the most fundamental human right, the right to life.

Within the framework of the fight against terrorism on international scale, it gives us hope to see that our approach is also shared by our neighbours. We would like to thank the Greek authorities for having justice prevailed by showing the political will in capturing and condemning the terrorists.

On this occasion, we commemorate our fallen diplomats once again with profound gratitude and wish that the decision of the Court of Appeals in Athens alleviate a little bit the grief of their distressed families.