GREECE TURKEY COUP ATTEMPT AFTERMATH.jpg
Policemen escort Turkish military officers at the court of Alexandroupolis, northern Greece, 17 July 2016.
Photograph: EPA/YANNIS KOLESIDIS

Eight Turkish soldiers allegedly involved in last weekend's coup have been sentenced to two months prison each in Greece, a court in Alexandroupoli ruled Thursday.

The men were found guilty of trying to illegally enter Greece on Saturday, according to local television reports.

The soldiers fled Turkey after the attempted coup and immediately applied for asylum after landing in the port city.

The sentencing in Alexandroupoli is independent of their request for asylum, which will be discussed at a hearing set to take place July 27, a Turkish military lawyer said. Until then, the soldiers will remain in police custody.

"They feared for their lives," a defence attorney for the troops said. The soldiers have claimed they bear no responsibility for the coup.

The asylum procedure could take several months if the Turkish soldiers pursue all legal options and bring the case before the highest court in Greece. Turkey is insisting on a quick extradition.

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