Surge in Turkish diplomats applying for asylum in Germany

There has been a significant surge in Turkish diplomats and military officials seeking refuge in European countries after last year’s attempted coup as the number of applications continues to rise.

According to figures from Germany’s Federal Department for Immigration and Refugees, the number of asylum applications from individuals in possession of Turkish diplomatic passports has reached 292. According to figures given by Turkey’s Interior Ministry, this figure stood at 136 in February of this year.

Several Turkish citizens with diplomatic passports, including the second-ranking Turkish diplomat in Bern and his family, had reportedly sought political asylum in Switzerland, the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper reported on 8 March.

Four Turkish soldiers and a military attaché who had applied for asylum in Norway following the 15 July coup attempt had been granted residence and working permits. Turkey had asked Norway for the extradition of the four soldiers and the military attaché, on suspicion of having participated in the failed coup.

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.

Germany is yet to decide on the asylum applications of the Turkish diplomats.