December 12, 2018

Turkey urges Germany to reject asylum of ex-soldiers

Turkish Defense Minister Işık says bilateral ties may get affected if asylum requests of ex-soldiers linked to July 15 are accepted

Speaking to journalists at the governor’s office in northwestern Edirne province, Isik said the soldiers had been dismissed from the military after the foiled coup, who then applied for asylum in Germany.

He said German authorities and judiciary “must assess them very carefully” and reject the asylum applications.

He also said he would raise the issue with his German counterpart at the NATO Security Conference in Munich next month, adding the asylum requests were “absolutely unacceptable”.

“Our expectation from Germany is that they will never accept the asylum requests,” he said.

He underlined that acceptance of any such requests would have consequences for bilateral relations.

Also, Isik invited all countries to cooperate with Turkey in its fight against terrorism, saying: “Turkey is sincere on this point, and it is fighting against terrorist organizations very seriously.”

On Saturday, the defense minister also slammed Greek court’s decision to not extradite eight fugitive former Turkish soldiers linked to the defeated coup; he termed the court’s order as a “political decision” and a “complete disappointment”.

40 Turkish NATO soldiers requested asylum in Germany

The reports of the asylum applications filed by Turkish soldiers in Germany came as Chancellor Angela Merkel prepared to travel to Turkey to meet President Tayyip Erdogan.

Ties between the two NATO partners have been strained over issues including alleged spying by Turkish clerics in Germany, German concerns about Turkey’s crackdown on dissidents, and Ankara’s accusation that Berlin is harboring militants from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and far-leftists of the DHKP-C.