Hundreds of Turkish officials seek asylum in Germany

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Some 600 senior Turkish officials have sought asylum in Germany since a failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016, Deutsche Welle (DW) reported on Saturday.

According to DW the Berliner Morgenpost reported that the more than 600 asylum applicants comprised 250 persons with Turkish diplomatic passports and 380 with identity papers showing them to be senior Turkish public servants.

The daily said it had obtained the figures from Germany’s Interior Ministry, which last month said 196 Turks with diplomatic passports had been granted asylum in Germany.

That count did not include members of Turkey’s military, including NATO attachés, who have also sought asylum.

The Berliner Morgenpost quoted the executive director of the German Association of Judges, Sven Rebehn, as saying that hardly any judicial independence remained in Turkey to exercise controls over Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

“Thousands of judges and state attorneys have been dismissed and some taken into detention. They have been replaced by government-allied jurists, who are appointed after crash courses,” he said.

Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

Turkey’s Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15 through government decrees issued as part of the state of emergency.

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