Turkey says Netherlands’ approval of asylum requests by Gülen movement members unacceptable


The spokesman of Turkish Foreign Ministry, Hami Aksoy, on Wednesday said it was unacceptable that the Netherlands approved asylum applications of members of the Gülen movement, a religious group Turkey accuses of masterminding the 2016 coup attempt, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

“It is unacceptable that the Dutch Department of Immigration and Naturalisation Service responds positively to asylum applications and gives residence permits to members of the organization, citing that the information of FETÖ contacts may have been received by the Turkish authorities,” Aksoy said, using the government’s acronym for the movement.

Earlier reports said that Turkish authorities have obtained information on asylum seekers from Turkey, after the detention of a Turkish lawyer working for the German embassy in the capital of Ankara on suspicion of espionage.

The German government is concerned that the Turkish authorities have gathered sensitive information about 50 asylum seekers from Turkey, including some important Kurdish activists and supporters of Gülen movement, according to Der Spiegel.

Over 77,000 people have been accused of links to the Gülen movement, which is designated as a terrorist organisation by Ankara, have been arrested and another 150,000 public employees have been suspended or sacked as part of a global crackdown on the group by the Turkish government.

Turkish courts have sentenced 1,949 Turkish citizens to life in prison in 248 court cases linked to the failed coup, according to Anadolu Agency.



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