07:49 GMT29 May 2020
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    Norway granted asylum to four Turkish officers and a military attache, who previously served in NATO headquarters in Brussels, after the applicants requested protection in fear of being persecuted and jailed by Ankara following a failed coup attempt in Turkey in 2016, local media reported Wednesday, citing a group’s lawyer.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — In January, 89 Turkish citizens, among them military officers and diplomats, applied for asylum in Norway in 2016 to escape persecution by Ankara.

    The former military representatives will now have the right to reside and work in Norway, according to their lawyer Kjell M. Brygfjeld, according to the media outlet Turkish Minute.

    The Turkish political refugees said they were not involved in organizing the failed coup.

    On January 28, German media reported that 40 Turkish soldiers, who used to serve in NATO bases before the coup attempt, had requested asylum in Germany. Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik urged Berlin to reject their applications, warning that the asylum grant process could strain relations between the two countries.

    Turkey declared a state of emergency after the July 15 coup attempt. Thousands of military personnel, officials and members of the opposition were detained or laid off in a purge that followed, drawing criticism from Ankara's allies in Europe.

    The coup attempt was suppressed by government forces, with over 240 people killed and an estimated 2,000 wounded. Ankara has accused dissident Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who has lived in the US state of Pennsylvania since 1999, and his followers of playing a key role in the coup.


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    coup attempt in Turkey, NATO, Norway
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