‘Absolutely no excuse’: Greece condemns Turkey’s entry ban on official

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Greece has strongly protested a decision by Turkey to deny entry to and detain a Greek regional governor who arrived by boat in Izmir to preside over a regional body’s plenary session.

Apostolos Tzitzikostas, governor of Central Macedonia and first vice president of the European Union’s Committee of the Regions, said Turkish authorities did not provide a reason for denying him entry on Saturday and keeping him in a room for over six hours.

“I cannot know what the Turks were thinking. But I can tell you that this act was an act of extreme provocation towards not only a Greek official but also a European official because I was there in my European capacity,” Mr Tzitzikostas said.

Apostolos Tzitzikostas, governor of Central Macedonia and first vice president of the European Union’s Committee of the Regions.

“The Turkish authorities checked my identity, my passport and all my diplomatic European documents. They have absolutely no excuse…”

Greece’s Foreign Ministry also weighed in on the issue and said they “unequivocally condemn the unacceptable and totally unjustified detention and entry ban imposed on the governor of Central Macedonia by the Turkish authorities in Izmir.”

In the end, after protests by both Greece and the EU, Turkey lifted the entry ban, but Tzitzikostas decided to leave anyway and not attend the 13th plenary session of the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly, a body over which he presides, on Monday and Tuesday.

Source: AP News and AMNA.

READ MORE: Turkey’s Foreign Minister warns Greece against expanding territorial waters in Aegean.

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