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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Nearly 300 Turkish diplomats seek asylum in Germany after 2016 coup attempt

Iran Press TV

Sat Jun 23, 2018 05:46PM

Nearly 300 Turkish diplomats have sought asylum in Germany since the 2016 coup attempt against the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

According to data from the German Interior Ministry, 1,177 Turks with diplomatic status or official credentials, including diplomats' spouses and children, have requested asylum.

Ties between Turkey and Germany soured over a host of issues after the failed coup, with Berlin critical of Ankara's post-coup crackdown and the arrest of German citizens in Turkey.

Ankara accused the European country of harboring "terrorist" organizations opposed to Erdogan.

The two countries have also clashed over Germany's alleged support for Kurdish opponents of the Turkish government and its opposition to a controversial referendum in Turkey in April last year, which gave Erdogan new sweeping powers. German authorities at the time prevented some pro-Erdogan campaigns in the country, a move that infuriated the Turkish president.

Turkey, under a state of emergency since the coup, has been engaged in suppressing the media and opposition groups suspected to have played a role in the failed coup.

Tens of thousands of people have been arrested in Turkey on suspicion of having links to opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen and the failed coup. More than 150,000 others, including military staff, civil servants and journalists, have been sacked or suspended from work over the same accusations.

The international community and rights groups have been highly critical of the Turkish president over the massive dismissals and the crackdown.

Gulen has also called on Ankara to end its "witch hunt" of his followers, a move he said is aimed at "weeding out anyone it deems disloyal to President Erdogan and his regime."

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