ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece's highest court on Thursday approved the release from custody of one of eight Turkish servicemen who have applied for asylum in Greece after fleeing Turkey following a failed 2016 coup in the neighboring country.

The ruling is likely to anger NATO-ally and regional rival Turkey, which has repeatedly demanded their extradition.

It was not clear when the release order would be carried out. The serviceman, who was not publicly named, will be subject to strict restrictions on his movements while he waits for a decision on his asylum application.

The Council of State ruled that the officer will remain at an undisclosed address, must appear daily at a local police station and cannot obtain travel documents until his asylum application is determined next month.


His request was considered before the others because his asylum application is at a more advanced stage.

Courts had initially granted him asylum, but suspended the decision following a Greek government appeal.

The eight helicopter crewmen, who deny involvement in the attempted coup, have become a bone of contention in increasingly souring Greek-Turkish relations.

Turkey is demanding their return but Greek courts have rejected the extradition requests.