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Turkey seizes Kurdish politician’s asylum file after arrest of German Embassy lawyer: report

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Turkey’s intelligence agency took possession of a Kurdish politician’s German asylum file after a Turkish lawyer working for the German Embassy in Ankara was arrested, the Mezopotamya news agency reported on Monday.

Leyla Birlik, a former deputy for the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), was notified of the situation by Germany’s interior ministry, according to the report.

“They told me that my security was in jeopardy,” Birlik said, adding that the files of 69 asylum seekers were seized by the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MİT) after the lawyer’s arrest.

In mid-September, Turkey arrested a lawyer hired by the German Embassy.

German Ambassador Martin Erdmann denounced the arrest as “incomprehensible,” stating that the lawyer was working as a legal consultant “providing the embassy with support that is ordinary from an international perspective and undoubtedly not forbidden.”

According to Mezopotamya’s report, the lawyer was tasked with conducting legal database searches on Turkish nationals seeking asylum in Germany to ascertain whether they were target of investigations or arrest warrants.

Birlik said she refused German officials’ offer to provide her with security guards.

“Their goal is to intimidate those seeking asylum in Germany,” she said. “I believe we are safe enough among our people here.”

She said the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been pursuing hostage diplomacy with Germany and other Western countries.

“Germany needs to put an end to its silence and proceed with sanctions against Turkey,” Birlik said.

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