Nişanyan Granted Asylum in Greece

ATHENS, Greece—On July 27, the government of Greece granted a six-month temporary residency permit to Turkish-Armenian fugitive Sevan Nişanyan, who escaped from a Turkish prison on July 14, after serving over three years of a 17-year sentence in Turkey.

Sevan Nişanyan

In an interview with Armenpress on July 25, Nişanyan indicated that he had sought asylum from Greece saying, “I have always thought of Greece as my second or third homeland. It is a very beautiful and civilized country. I’ll be very happy to spend the new phase of my life there.”

“I got a lot of support and love from my friends in Armenia when I was in prison. There are many people whom I’d like to thank,” Nişanyan told Armenpress.

The Turkish authorities have issued a warrant for Nişanyan’s arrest and have listed him as a fugitive from the law.

In a recent interview with Armenian Weekly correspondent Gulisor Akkum, Nişanyan, said that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s regime’s days are numbered and that he will eventually return to his home country.

“I am sad that I will be away from my village and my home for a period of time. But I do not believe this political insanity in Turkey will continue for too long. This regime is going to go, and we will return!” the Turkish-Armenian intellectual, travel writer, entrepreneur, and researcher told Akkum.

Nişanyan was jailed on Dec. 2, 2014, for “construction infractions.” The charges that had him locked up stemmed from the renovations and additions to his hotels in Sirince, an old Greek village in Izmir that has become a tourist destination thanks to Nişanyan and his rustic hotel business.

“The bird has flown. Wish the same for 80 million left behind,” Nişanyan said in a Tweet on July 14 upon fleeing the country. He also changed his profile photo on Twitter in the evening hours of July 14 and replaced it with a photo of a flying bird.

Nişanyan has since posted three new photos on his…

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