1,177 Turkish diplomats, senior officials claim asylum in Germany

A total of 296 Turkish diplomats and 881 service passport holders have claimed asylum in Germany since a controversial military coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016, according to a report by the Die Welt newspaper on Saturday.

The number of asylum-seeking Turkish diplomats and holders of service passports, which are only issued to senior public officials and their family members, who have sought protection in Germany has increased to 1,177 in June 2018, Die Welt said.

The report also stated that the total number of Turkish asylum seekers from all backgrounds has hit 3,382 in the first half of 2018. The reason for the mass exodus from Turkey is Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s post-coup crackdown on his critics: Gülen movement supporters, the Kurdish minority, journalists, academics and dissidents from many walks of life.

Germany’s mainstream parties have been outspoken critics of Turkey’s crackdown. Turkey in turn has pressed Germany repeatedly to hand over people it claims were involved in the coup.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Recep Tayyip 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 has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15. On December 13, 2017 the Justice Ministry announced that 169,013 people have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.

Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu announced on April 18, 2018 that the Turkish government had jailed 77,081 people between July 15, 2016 and April 11, 2018 over alleged links to the Gülen movement. (SCF with turkeypurge.com)

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