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Dozens of Turkish diplomats apply for asylum in Germany

Among the 35 people with diplomatic passports who applied for asylum with the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), there were also spouses and children, the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) reports.

The Interior Ministry also noted that there are no definitive statistics on the number of asylum applications by Turkish diplomats, stating that the figure of 35 is not a “complete and closed figure”.

On July 15th, sections of the Turkish military attempted to topple Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan government. But within hours the putsch failed as Turkish civilians responded to a call by Erdogan to go onto the streets to resist the plotters.

Since then, tens of thousands of people have been fired from their jobs and detained, including people in the judiciary, education and the media, as the government has gone after those it claims are sympathizers with the putschists.

Erdogan has accused Islamist preacher Fethullah Gülen, who lives in exile in the United States, of masterminding the plot, a claim which Gülen has denied.

Amnesty International has criticized the conditions in Turkish prisons since the coup attempt, and claims to have credible evidence that suspects were tortured and raped in the days after the plot failed.

At the start of October, the SZ reported that Turkish diplomats had applied for asylum in Germany, although at that time the government only confirmed “at least three cases”.

The SZ also reported in September that six German citizens had found themselves stuck in Turkey since the putsch was defeated. All of the people in question had only German nationality, yet were banned from leaving by the Turkish government.

Article source: https://www.thelocal.de/20161024/dozens-of-turkish-diplomats-apply-for-asylum-in-germany