US rejects asylum to Incirlik base commander detained for complicity in failed coup attempt

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published
US rejects asylum to Incirlik base commander detained for complicity in failed coup attempt

The commander of İncirlik Air Base, who was arrested for his role in plotting the failed military coup, sought asylum from the United States but was denied, The New York Times reported Sunday.

According to the report, Air Force Brigadier General Bekir Ercan Van approached American officials seeking asylum but was refused, a person with knowledge of the matter, who spoke anonymously because of the sensitive nature of the subject, said.

Van was detained at the key İncirlik Air Base used by U.S. forces and forces in the anti-DAESH coalition for raids in Syria, along with a dozen lower-ranked officers.

The suspects are being charged with "membership in an armed terrorist organization" and "attempting to overthrow the government of the Republic of Turkey using force and violence or attempting to completely or partially hinder its function."

On Friday night, renegade elements within Turkey's military attempted to stage a coup against the government. Although the coup was soon put down by the country's legitimate authorities and security apparatus, some 161 people were killed in the violence, according to Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım.

Over 3,000 military personnel, including high-ranking figures behind the coup attempt, have been detained and detention warrants have been issued for 2,475 judges and prosecutors.

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