Germany’s hint at a positive outcome of asylum requests might have encouraged Turkish officers at NATO bases to apply after a failed coup in their home country, a former Turkish military intelligence chief told Sputnik on Friday.
Ismail Pekin, former head of the Intelligence Department at Turkish Armed Forces’ General Staff, said NATO-based Turkish officers, military attaches with the Turkish Embassy as well as communications and logistics bureau staff in Koblenz had been missed by Ankara long before they applied for asylum.
“The German interior minister has recently said they would accept asylum requests from the opposition. I think this prompted the officers in hiding to apply,” Pekin.
He predicted that asylum bids from officers and military diplomats would further strain relations between Turkey and NATO, which have been tested by the continuing migration crisis and the implementation of an EU-Turkish deal to end it.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg confirmed earlier today some Turkish officers in the alliance’s command structures claimed asylum in countries they were posted to, after German media reported several Turkish personnel at the Ramstein air base sought refuge together with their families. Turkey declared a state of emergency after the July 15 coup attempt. Thousands of military personnel, officials and members of the opposition were detained or laid off in a purge that followed, drawing criticism from Ankara’s allies in Europe.