Special asylum right for terrorists is disgrace to democracy

Published 23.10.2017 21:17

The special support provided to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) from some European countries constitutes one of the leading problems between the EU and Turkey. Such a case has not been experienced until recently. So far, Europe has been a haven for those aggrieved by fascists and junta regimes. As of July 15, 2016, when a coup attempt was organized by FETÖ leader, Fetullah Gülen, with an aim to topple the government and found a fascist dictatorship in Turkey, Europe has suddenly turned into a safe haven for putschists and FETÖ operatives even though there is no such law requiring this.

Germany and Belgium are unfortunately on the top of this list of countries. There are FETÖ militants in these countries, and officials there see no problem with it. The support given to FETÖ is the primary source of the problems between Ankara and Berlin. However, the right to asylum in Germany's constitution is of great value since it was penned as a result of the lessons learned from Hitler's fascism, so it sets an example to the rest of the world, in my opinion. This right currently presents FETÖ militants an opportunity to evade the courts. The democrats deciding on the right to asylum would have turned in their graves if they heard about this.

A number of Turkish and German people are striving to end the German-Turkish crisis. Through dialogue, they have been seeking solutions that would end the spat that undermines both countries. I am definitely on the side of their efforts. Healthy relations between Germany and Turkey are required, especially considering Turkey's need to determinedly progress on the EU accession path.

Lately, while having a conversation with two German journalists, one of them made a very good observation. The journalist said that it is a scandal for Germany to grant asylum to FETÖ-linked officers and diplomats so easily even though granting this right is normally an arduous process. He was right when asking, "How can a military officer or a diplomat become a political refugee so easily?" This is not a standard case in Germany. Due to Germany's exceptional implementations, dozens of FETÖ militants have evaded giving an account of their crimes against humanity. This is a scandal in the name of democracy and human rights. They granted asylum to generals who ordered the killing thousands of people and to officers and diplomats who condoned civilian killings.

Had Gülen achieved his goal, millions in Turkey would have been suffering oppression. The regime formed by Gülen would have been reminiscent of North Korea considering that FETÖ is a strictly hierarchical terrorist group based on a chain of command in which members are even instructed to marry women chosen by the cult. The July 15 atrocity was kicked off based on plans to kill thousands and arrest hundreds of thousands. They did not succeed thanks to the courageous resistance shown by the Turkish nation.

Despite that, 249 civilians were killed and 2,196 more were injured by the time the coup offenders were completely repelled in the longest 48 hours of Turkey's history. The extent of the losses is obvious.

The Justice Ministry recently announced that a total of 49,697 civil servants have been arrested on charges of having links to FETÖ. Police officers top the list with 8,628 while military officers rank second with 7,444. The number of judiciary officials under arrest stands at 2,151, and warrants have been issued for thousands more. Most senior FETÖ members managed to flee abroad.

As a state of law, Turkey is calling those involved in the coup to account. But we still hear some shocking news from German media like the two FETÖ-linked Turkish generals applying for asylum in Germany who were sent to temporary refugee centers in Giessen. They followed the standard procedure for political refugees for them as if they were ordinary political refugees, and the two obtained asylum much more rapidly than the refugees really deserving of it. The same was also observed in the case of a FETÖ operative who is a pilot at a NATO base in Germany.

In a nutshell, FETÖ members have a status of favored refugees. The right to asylum in Article 16 of the German constitution has been abused by these terrorists. As I mentioned above, a German journalist is rightfully unsettled about the situation. I think German democrats need to think about that. There must be some kind of a mistake if Germany's valuable right to asylum is manipulated by FETÖ. This scandal must come to an end considering the harm done to Turkey's relations with Germany and the EU. I am hopeful of the German democrats who esteem democracy and human rights.

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