The personal bodyguards of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who were involved in the widely covered scuffles with Kurdish anti-Erdogan protesters in the US during Mr. Erdogan’s visit in Washington are among the large security entourage that has landed in Athens. The Turkish politician is scheduled to arrive in Athens on Thursday for a 2-day official visit to Greece and security measures have been beefed up in the Greek capital.
The Turkish security staff arrived with all its equipment including three armoured limos, communication jamming devices and is expected to meet with Greek security forces to decide on the details of a plan for the visit of Mr. Erdogan.
According to sources, around 60 special security officers arrived at the Athens International Airport on Monday, most of which belong to Mr. Erdogan’s personal bodyguards, while tens more landed in Greece on Tuesday. The men were transported to a hotel in downtown Athens where they met with Greek officers to discuss details of the security plans. A total of 150 personal security officers have reportedly arrived in Athens, while a unit of 50 men was dispatched to Thrace to prepare Mr. Erdogan’s visit there.
Deputy Minister of Citizen Protection Nikos Toskas also took part in the meetings with the head of the Turkish Presidential guards. Mr. Erdogan’s special bodyguards personally inspected the routes the Turkish President motorcade would be taking, while they reportedly requested from the Greek police to move all the vehicles parked around the area the Turkish entourage would be visiting.
Sources in the Greek police headquarters say the Turkish Presidential unit is made up of highly trained officers, some of which are female, equipped with state of the art weapons and devices.
The security plan will include more than 3,000 police officers, 150 Turkish bodyguards, helicopters, snipers and jammers (mobile phone deactivation systems).
The plane with Mr. Erdogan and his entourage is expected to land just before 11 am at the Eleftherios Venizelos airport on Thursday. The route motorcade will use has not been disclosed for security reasons, and a special plan will be put in place for his scheduled visit to Thrace.