At least three Gülen-linked former Turkish diplomats, reportedly including one military attache, are seeking asylum in Germany following the July 15 failed coup attempt, German media reported on Friday.
Representatives of the German Interior Ministry told members of the Bundestag, the lower house of parliament, that three Turkish diplomats in Germany had applied for asylum, Süddeutsche Zeitung and broadcasters NDR and WDR said.
A possible approval of the asylum requests of the diplomats would likely further strain ties between Ankara and Berlin, which were hurt over a Bundestag vote that referred to the deaths of Armenian Ottomans in 1915 as 'genocide'.
Süddeutsche cited government sources as saying the number of applicants could be more by now, adding that the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) had not yet decided on the asylum requests.
The diplomats are suspected of being a member of Gülenist terror group (FETÖ), led by Fetullah Gülen, who has lived in self-imposed exile on a 400-acre property in the foothills of the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania since 1999.
Tens of thousands of public sector personnel, including civil servants, teachers, police, judges and prosecutors have been removed from their jobs in the wake of the July 15 coup attempt, which the government has said was carried out by FETÖ members.
To date, 3,699 military personnel have been dismissed or suspended.
Gülen and his followers are charged with attempting to infiltrate Turkey's state institutions, especially the military, police apparatus and judiciary, with the ultimate aim of creating a parallel state.
Turkey has requested the extradition of Gülen from the U.S. to stand trial for a series of crimes.
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