35 Turks With Diplomatic Passports Seek Asylum in Germany
according to rapporteur report from NY times , link ,Relations between Germany and Turkey were strained even before the failed military coup on July 15, and have only improved slightly in recent weeks. Granting asylum to 35 Turkish citizens holding diplomatic passports could further threaten the uneasy calm between the countries, at a time when Germany remains dependent on Turkey to uphold its end of an agreement that has prevented thousands of refugees and migrants from reaching Europe.
It was not immediately clear how many of the 35 applications were submitted by diplomats, and how many were family members, Johannes Dimroth, a spokesman for Germany’s Interior Ministry, told reporters, citing privacy laws. He indicated it was possible there could be even more applicants.
“I would like to point out that there are, of course, no statistics that take into account these characteristics in any form, so that this is not a final and complete number,” Mr. Dimroth said.
There was also no information on whether the 35 included diplomats who had been serving elsewhere in the world and had come to Germany seeking asylum, or were limited to those based in Germany. Roughly three million Turkish citizens and their descendants call Germany home, holdovers from the efforts in the 1960s to fill postwar factories with workers.
German news media reported this month that members of Turkey’s diplomatic corps in the country were seeking political asylum, as tens of thousands of people were purged from the judiciary, military, Civil Service and other influential professions in Turkey.
Under the deal reached in March, the European Union pledged more than $6 billion to help care for the more than three million Syrians in Turkey in exchange for Turkish help in halting the smugglers who earned a fortune sending refugees to Greece in flimsy, overcrowded boats.
Chancellor Angela Merkel had been a key proponent behind the deal, after a backlash against her decision to allow nearly one million migrants and refugees who reached Germany’s border on foot to remain in the country and apply for asylum.
Weeks after the deal was signed, a German comedian offended the Turkish president with a crude, satirical poem. It sparked a diplomatic uproar and several lawsuits by Mr. Erdogan seeking to silence the comedian, Jan Böhmermann, on his home territory. Charges in one of the suits were dropped this month, but another case, seeking an injunction against the offending poem, goes to trial next month.
In June, Germany’s Parliament passed a resolution declaring the mass deportations and massacres of hundreds of thousands of Armenians and Assyrians in the closing days of the Ottoman Empire a genocide. Turkey responded by recalling its ambassador to Berlin and refusing to allow German lawmakers to visit members of the German military serving in a NATO-led mission at the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey. Only after Ms. Merkel’s spokesman formally announced that the parliamentary resolution was not legally binding, were they granted the right to visit.
Attempts to reach the Turkish Embassy in Berlin were unsuccessful.