40 Turkish NATO military personnel in Germany request asylum: Media
According to reports by the German public TV chain ARD and the Der Spiegel weekly news magazine on Saturday, citing unnamed sources, the military servicemen had been relieved from their duties earlier by Ankara on suspicions of having alleged roles in the mid-July failed military coup back in their home country against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Der Spiegel quoted some unnamed officials from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) and the Federal Ministry of the Interior as saying that the case was treated as all others.
Meanwhile, lawmaker Stephan Mayer, a senior member of the Christian Social Union (CSU) political party and spokesman for Home Affairs of CSU and the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) parliamentary group, said that it was no doubt that Berlin could not extradite these soldiers since “they would land in jail immediately” upon their arrival in Turkey.
Furthermore, legislator Norbert Rottgen, a top CDU member and the chairman of the Bundestag’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, also strongly asserted that political considerations should not play any role in the asylum procedure.
This is reportedly the second time a group of Turkish troops request asylum in Germany. Back in November, some four months after the botched putsch, several other Turkish military personnel, who worked at the NATO headquarters in the Palatinate of Ramstein, asked for asylum. NATO at the time did not specify the exact number of the Turkish servicemen.