Of­fi­cers ‘seek­ing Nato asy­lum’

Malta Independent - - WORLD -

A num­ber of Turk­ish of­fi­cers posted to Nato have sought asy­lum since the coun­try’s failed mil­i­tary coup in July, Nato’s sec­re­tary-gen­eral has said.

Jens Stoltenberg said the of­fi­cers had re­quested asy­lum in the coun­tries where they had been posted but gave no names, num­bers or rea­sons for the re­quests. The coun­tries in­volved will con­sider the cases in­di­vid­u­ally. Tur­key has dis­missed, sus­pended, de­tained or ar­rested tens of thou­sands of peo­ple since the July coup at­tempt.

Many have been in the mil­i­tary, although oth­ers are teach­ers, po­lice­men, judges and jour­nal­ists.

The Turk­ish gov­ern­ment’s crack­down has tar­geted those it sus­pects of links to the man it be­lieves mas­ter­minded the coup at­tempt - the cleric, Fethul­lah Gulen.

He lives in self-im­posed ex­ile in Penn­syl­va­nia in the United States and has de­nied any in­volve­ment.

Mr Stoltenberg said yes­ter­day that “some Turk­ish of­fi­cers work­ing in the Nato com­mand struc­ture... have re­quested asy­lum in the coun­tries where they are work­ing”.

Ger­man me­dia have car­ried re­ports that some mem­bers of the Turk­ish mil­i­tary have re­quested asy­lum in Ger­many.

Also yes­ter­day, the UN rap­por­teur on free­dom of ex­pres­sion, David Kaye, warned of a “grim” cli­mate in Tur­key since the failed coup.

He said: “The con­clu­sions I would say are fairly grim and re­flect what I think is a deep sense of re­stric­tion on free­dom of opin­ion and ex­pres­sion through­out the coun­try.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malta

© PressReader. All rights reserved.