Turkish Diplomat Seeks Swiss Asylum

Turkish Diplomat Seeks Swiss Asylum
Thu Mar 9, 2017 20:37:20

Turkey's deputy ambassador to Switzerland has claimed asylum, according to Swiss media.

According to Tages-Anzeiger (in German), Volkan Karagoz is among a number of Turkish diplomats seeking protection from a purge of officials.

After a failed coup in July 2016, Turkey arrested or dismissed tens of thousands of suspected followers of Fethullah Gulen.

The Swiss migration service said it could not comment on individual cases.

However, the government in Bern said this week that some Turkish holders of diplomatic passports had sought asylum.

Tensions have escalated between Turkey and several European countries in recent weeks as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan tries to persuade expatriate Turks to back a campaign to extend his powers in an April referendum.

The Swiss daily said that Mr Karagoz and his family had decided to seek asylum when he was recalled by the government in Ankara last month.

The Swiss government says that since the attempted coup, 408 Turkish nationals have sought asylum, including a few with diplomatic passports. Officials said they could not give further details.

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