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Germany turns down Turkey’s calls to reject asylum applications of Turkish officers

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German authorities have turned down calls from Turkey to reject asylum applications from 40 high-ranking Turkish officers, saying that the officers’ applications will be processed in no differently than other applications, according to Deutsche Welle.

German media reported last week that around 40 mostly high-ranking Turkish officers who worked at NATO facilities in Germany had requested asylum as they feared persecution in Turkey in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt on July 15. Germany’s interior ministry has confirmed that asylum applications had been received from Turkish military personnel, without giving any numbers.

Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Işık last week called on Germany to reject the asylum requests from the Turkish officers, warning that failure to reject the applications could harden relations between Germany and Turkey.

Deutsche Welle, which based its report on another report that appeared in the Passauer Neuen Presse newspaper, announced that German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière has rejected Turkey’s demand to turn down the asylum applications of the Turkish officers.

The newspaper quoted the minister as saying that there is no special practice in question for the Turkish officers’ applications and that it is the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) which makes the decisions about asylum applications.

Işık said the soldiers applied for asylum after they were dismissed from the military following the July 15 failed coup. More than 135,000 people have been sacked or suspended from the police, military, civil service and private sector on suspicion of supporting the faith-based Gülen movement, which is accused by the Turkish government of instigating the coup attempt. The Gülen movement strongly denies any involvement in the attempted coup.

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