Turkey urges Berlin to reject soldiers’ asylum bids

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ANKARA: Turkey called on Germany on Sunday to reject asylum requests by several dozen Turkish soldiers, who reports suggest fear jail over last year’s failed coup if they return home. Days before German Chancellor Angela Merkel is due to visit Turkey, Defense Minister Fikri Isik said Germany should “absolutely” reject the requests. German media reports said that 40 Turkish troops, mostly high-ranking and stationed on NATO bases, were seeking asylum in Germany. “German courts and German authorities must assess this very carefully, and they must absolutely not accept their asylum requests,” said Isik. The officers seeking asylum were quoted in German media as saying they feared jail and possible torture back home. Isik said they were accused of involvement in the July 15 attempted overthrow of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Some 43,000 people have been arrested on suspicion of having links to coup plotters. Isik said that he would discuss the matter with his German counterpart at a NATO security conference next month.

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AFP

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