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German press: 3 Turkish diplomats apply for asylum in Germany

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Three Turkish diplomats and a military attaché have applied for asylum in Germany, German media reported on Friday.

A joint report by the Süddeutsche daily, West German Broadcasting Cologne (WDR) and Northern German Broadcasting (NDR) said the passports of eight Turkish diplomats in Germany were revoked over alleged ties to a social movement led by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen. The report said three of the eight diplomats have applied for asylum in Germany.

Based on sources from the German Foreign Ministry, the report also mentioned Col. Ayhan Dağlı, Turkey’s military attaché in Berlin, saying that the officer whose whereabouts in Germany are unknown also applied for asylum. His posting to Berlin was approaching an end, and he was expected to return to Turkey.

The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) has yet to make a decision on the asylum applications, but German authorities fear the outbreak of another diplomatic dispute with Turkey as the two countries recently repaired ties. Turkey returned its ambassador to Germany, Hüseyin Avni Karslıoğlu, to Berlin on Friday after a four-month absence from the embassy.

The rest of the German-based diplomats have returned to Turkey, the report said, but added that number of asylum applications may increase.

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