Hundreds of Turkish Officials Request Asylum in Germany: Report
Story Code : 634586
According to a report by the Germany weekly Der Spiegel, information provided by the country’s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), indicates the number of Turkish officials and their family members who have applied for asylum in Germany had now reached around 450.
The officials are accused of having links to the movement of US-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, who is blamed by Ankara authorities of masterminding the July 2016 failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Some of those who sought asylum in the country included NATO military officers stationed in Belgium and a military attaché at the Turkish Embassy in an African country, the report said.
Overall, more than 7,700 Turkish citizens have applied for asylum in Germany, it added.
Only 8 percent of the asylum applications were approved last year, but authorities from BAMF estimate that this rate will increase in 2017.
The report also said applications from Turkish public officials have remained unprocessed for months but that BAMF has updated its guidelines for applications from the country regarding an assessment report by the German Foreign Office.
“There are clear indications of the systematic persecution of alleged adherents of the Gülen movement in Turkey,” the report said.
An estimated 140,000 people have so far been purged from the state and private sectors, and more than 1,500 civil groups closed, since a failed coup last year. The expulsions have affected academics, employees of the religious affairs directorate, prison guards, clerks, and members of the armed forces. They were fired for suspected links to "terrorist organizations and structures presenting a threat to national security.”