World Bulletin / News Desk
“Through the end of this August, 250 individuals with diplomatic passports and 365 individuals with service passports have submitted asylum applications,” de Maiziere said in an interview with German daily Rhein Zeitung on Monday.
“These numbers also include family members of the diplomats and service passport holders. That is a sizeable but not an extremely high number,” he added.
De Maiziere gave no details about the professions of these asylum-seekers, but government officials told local media earlier that ex-soldiers and former diplomats were among them and that most were accused by the Turkish authorities of having ties with those behind the coup.
The attempted July 2016 military takeover, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured, was orchestrated by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen.
After the foiled coup, several Turkish military officers stationed at NATO bases in Germany disobeyed orders from Ankara to return home.
Several ex-soldiers and former officials with suspected FETO ties also came to Germany from neighboring countries or Turkey, and applied for asylum.
Despite repeated requests by Ankara to return FETO suspects to Turkey for trial, the German authorities have so far turned down such requests, arguing that Ankara must first provide sound legal evidence.
De Maiziere said on Monday that each asylum application is evaluated by the German authorities on its own merits, based on the rule of law and applicable legislation.