Friday, February 24, 2017
136 Turkish diplomats, relatives seek asylum in Germany, More and more are applying for asylum.
136 Turkish diplomats, relatives seek asylum in Germany, More and more are applying for asylum. (Fr24).
"The government is aware of 136 asylum applications filed by diplomatic passport holders from Turkey. They also include family members," said the interior ministry in a written reply to a query from a lawmaker.
The ministry said however that it did not have data on how many among the applicants are diplomats and how many are soldiers stationed at NATO bases.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government has accused US-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen of having orchestrated the putsch, and launched a sweeping crackdown against his followers.
Some 43,000 people in Turkey have been arrested over their suspected links to Gulen's movement, and 100,000 fired or suspended. Many of them are teachers, police, magistrates and journalists.
The scale of the crackdown has raised international concern, with Germany among the most vocal in raising questions over the mass arrests.
That and a string of other spats have contributed to fraying ties between Ankara and Berlin.
Last month, news magazine "Der Spiegel" and public broadcaster ARD reported that dozens of Turkish officers applied for asylum for fear of being arrested upon returning home.
In a subsequent meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged Merkel to extradite the soldiers. Foreign soldiers stationed in NATO-bases are also entitled to a diplomatic passport. Read the full story here.