Turkish gov’t urges NATO countries to reject asylum requests of suspected Gülenist soldiers
Sevil Erkuş - ANKARA
AA photoWestern countries should reject the asylum requests of suspected Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) members, Defense Minister Fikri Işık said at a Nov. 21 meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, sources familiar with the meeting told the Hürriyet Daily News.
Referring to media reports that some members of the Turkish Armed Forces serving in NATO structures have filed asylum requests in Western countries, Işık told the Secretary General that “granting those applications is not acceptable for Turkey and asked him to convey this message to Western interlocutors,” sources said.
NATO’s activities in the Aegean Sea as part of efforts to stem the flow of refugees and Turkey’s missions in NATO defense were among the issues discussed at the meeting between Işık and Stoltenberg.
On Nov. 18, the NATO secretary general confirmed that a number of Turkish officers serving in NATO structures in Europe had recently filed asylum requests, citing personal safety concerns following the foiled coup.
Stoltenberg added that the officers’ asylum requests would be processed by the related NATO members independently and the alliance would not be interfering in the process.
“It would be wrong if we started to go into that kind of legal issue, that’s for the judicial system [of the countries],” he said.
30-40 Turkish nationals applied for asylum in Germany
Some 30 to 40 Turkish nationals have recently applied for asylum in Germany, but there are no statistics on the asylum seekers’ professions, sources told the Hürriyet Daily News.
According to Deutsche Welle, most asylum applicants were Turkish military personnel employed at NATO bases in Europe.
Only three Turkish diplomats returned to Turkey from Germany since July after being ordered to do so, Deutsche Welle reported, citing diplomatic sources and adding that all three diplomats were then removed from office following “extensive interrogation.”