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Turkish military officer seeks asylum in Cyprus, official says

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A Turkish military officer, along with his wife, is seeking asylum in Greek Cyprus after sailing into a port on the island’s southern coast aboard a small sailboat, a Greek Cypriot official said.

According to an AP report on Monday, the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, said the officer was accompanied by his wife when they arrived at Larnaca port.

No details were given about the officer’s identity, rank or the military branch he serves in. The state-owned Cyprus News Agency said the officer told authorities on arrival Sunday that he felt persecuted.

Turkey has jailed more than 50,000 people, including soldiers, police officers, academics, journalists, prosecutors and judges, in a crackdown against suspected supporters of US-based Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who the Turkish government accuses of being behind a failed 2016 coup. Gülen denies any involvement in the attempted coup.

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