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Turkey Protests Political Asylum in Norway for Military Officers

  • VOA News

FILE - Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag addresses the Turkish Parliament during a debate in Ankara, Turkey, March 19, 2014. On Wednesday, Bozdag called Norway reportedly granting political asylum to Turkish military officers allegedly involved in last year's failed coup in Turkey "not an acceptable situation."

Turkey's Foreign Ministry summoned the Norwegian ambassador in Ankara Wednesday to protest political asylum Norway reportedly granted to Turkish military officers allegedly involved in last year's failed coup.

"This is not an acceptable situation," Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said. "Europe should not become a safe haven for coup plotters, for terrorists and murderers."

Reports from Norway say as many as five Turkish officers were given asylum. Their lawyer says they had been in Norway for a couple of years and that Turkey ordered them to return home after the July coup attempt.

One of the officers told Norway's Verden Gang newspaper that they fear what will happen if they go back.

"If I return, I will be detained and risk torture and will be forced to make a false confession. People die inexplicably in Turkish prisons."

Turkey blames exiled U.S.-based cleric Fetullah Gulen for the failed coup, in which the military tried to seize power from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Gulen denies any involvement.

Turkish authorities have arrested or fired more than 100,000 police, soldiers, government workers and private citizens for alleged involvement in the coup. Many others have escaped the crackdown by fleeing to other countries.

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