Germany grants asylum to Turkish military personnel: Reports

Germany grants asylum to Turkish military personnel: Reports

BERLIN - Agence France-Presse
Germany grants asylum to Turkish military personnel: Reports

AP photo

Germany has granted political asylum to numerous Turkish military personnel and their families holding diplomatic passports, German media reported on May 8, amid strained relations between the two NATO allies.

The German Interior Ministry was not immediately available for comment, but according to the Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily and public broadcasters WDR and NDR, authorities confirmed that Germany gave positive responses to the asylum petitions of the Turkish nationals.

The Interior Ministry said in April that it had received 262 applications for political asylum from Turkish nationals holding diplomatic passports, but it did not say how many of the requests came from Turkish military personnel stationed at NATO bases.

Since the July 2016 failed coup attempt, 414 military personnel, diplomats, judges and other high-ranking Turkish officials have sought political asylum in Germany, according to the ministry’s figures published by the three German media. That number also includes family members.

The wave of asylum requests followed a series of arrests and dismissals, which has seen more than 100,000 people fired, suspended from their jobs, or detained over alleged links to the Gülen movement or the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Last week, over 100 judges and prosecutors were suspended from their duties over their alleged links to the followers of Fethullah Gülen, the U.S.-based Islamic preacher who is believed to have been behind the attempted takeover. The weekend before, it had dismissed nearly 4,000 public officials under the state of emergency while over 9,100 police were suspended on April 26.    
Ties between Berlin and Ankara plunged during the April 16 referendum campaign on shifting the governance to an executive presidency and continued to take a hit with the arrest of a German-Turkish journalist for Die Welt daily, who was jailed in February on terror charges and is awaiting trial.
In parliament last month, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Ankara’s arrest and treatment of Deniz Yücel was “incompatible with a constitutional state” and also warned Turkey to respect civil rights in keeping with a constitutional state.