Two Turkish ex-generals seeking asylum in Germany: Reports
REUTERS photoTwo former Turkish generals suspected of being involved in the July 15, 2016, coup attempt have applied for asylum in Germany, according to local media reports released on May 14, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.
A total of five Turkish citizens, among them two high-ranking former soldiers, applied for asylum upon their arrival at Frankfurt International Airport on May 12, mass-circulation daily Bild reported.
They travelled from Greece to Germany, according to the daily.
At a press conference, German Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer declined to comment on the reports, but reiterated that the government has no political influence on the assessment of asylum applications.
“Decisions are taken by the relevant immigration authority, and if required by the independent courts,” he added.
A number of Turkish military personnel based in various NATO bodies across Europe have sought asylum from their countries of residence in the post-July 2016 period amid concerns that they would be prosecuted and eventually arrested on charges of being a member of the Gülen Movement.
Members of the military alleged to have ties with the movement launched a coup attempt last year that resulted in the deaths of 249 loyalist security forces and citizens. Along with those who physically participated in the coup attempt, Turkey dismissed thousands of high-ranking military personnel on allegations that they were linked to the movement, recognized as a terrorist organization by the Turkish government.
The organization is led by Fethullah Gülen, an Islamic preacher who has lived in the United States since the late 1990s. Gülen is also believed to be the prime suspect of the coup attempt.
Turkey has slammed Germany for accepting the asylum requests of former Turkish military personnel accused of having links with Gülen.