Turkey protests against Norway giving military officers asylum

500 to face trial over Turkey failed coup

Turkey’s foreign ministry has summoned the Norwegian ambassador in Ankara to protest political asylum granted to Turkish military officers allegedly involved in last year’s failed coup.

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.

“It is saddening and unacceptable to see an allied country supporting the efforts of individuals who were recalled from their state duty and who abused the political, social, and economic resources of their country of residence instead of returning to Turkey,” said a statement by foreign ministry spokesman Huseyin Muftuoglu.

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.

Thousands of people have been arrested since the July coup bid that left 249 people dead

Since the July 15 coup attempt, some 40,000 people have been arrested in Turkey and more than 100,000 sacked or suspended from the military, civil service and private sector, while others have sought asylum abroad.

Ankara says the failed coup, which left 249 people dead, was orchestrated by US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.

Turkey’s government accuses Gulen’s network of staging the coup attempt as well as being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.

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