Turkish diplomatic passport holders seeking asylum in Switzerland

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A Swiss daily reported that several Turkish citizens with diplomatic passports have been seeking political asylum in Switzerland following similar reports from other European countries since Turkey started a massive purge in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt on July 15.

Tages-Anzeiger on Wednesday reported on the asylum seekers, including the second-ranking diplomat in Bern and his family, with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu expected to pay a visit to Switzerland over the weekend. Çavuşoğlu aims to hold a referendum campaign rally targeting Turkish citizens in Zurich, but the municipal council asked the federal government to cancel the Turkish minister’s event due to security concerns.

Following the coup attempt, Turkey recalled a number of diplomats and soldiers posted abroad, but some refused to comply, citing fear of political imprisonment and torture in their home country.

A Norwegian daily reported in January that 89 Turkish citizens had applied for asylum in Norway in 2016, including military officers and diplomats, saying they fear for their safety if they return to Turkey.

Following the report, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) co-rapporteur Ingebjorg Godskesen had said she would not return to Turkey if she were a Turkish officer applying for asylum in Norway.

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