Germany says 136 Turkish officials have applied for asylum after coup attempt

The prosecutor Zekeriya Oz, escaping from Turkey

German officials have said that 136 Turkish diplomats, soldiers and their relatives have requested asylum status since the failed coup attempt on 15 July, 2016.

The interior ministry said that 136 asylum applications have been recorded filed by diplomatic passport holders from Turkey, the AFP reported.

The data on how many among the applicants are diplomats and how many are NATO bases-stationed soldiers remain uncertain, the ministry said .

The Turkish government has accused US-based Muslim cleric 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 the Gulenist movement, and over 100,000 have been dismissed or suspended, many of them teachers, police officers, court members and journalists.

The scale of the crackdown has raised international concern, especially with Germany after the rising numbers of asylum applications.

Germany has been urged by Turkey not to grant asylum to any military officers. Some officers who are thought to be related to the Gulenist movement were based at NATO bases in Germany.

In Greece, two more Turkish soldiers have requested asylum. Earlier in January, Greece’s Supreme Court rejected Ankara’s request for the extradition of the 8 Turkish officers saying that the officers would not receive a fair trial in Turkey. The tension between the two countries has been rising since the incident.

The German interior ministry has not given detailed information of the identities of the 136 people who requested asylum. In Turkey the spouses and children of diplomats also hold diplomatic passports. It is also unclear whether their applications will be accepted or not.