Turkey/Germany: Turkish political refugees flock to Germany, seeking safety

August 20, 2017

The Turkish judge sits in a busy cafe in a big German city. Thirteen months ago, he was a respected public servant in his homeland. Now he is heartbroken and angry over the nightmarish turn of events that brought him here.

The day after a 2016 coup attempt shook Turkey, he was blacklisted along with thousands of other judges and prosecutors. The judge smiles, sadly, as he recounts hiding at a friend’s home, hugging his crying son goodbye and paying smugglers to get him to safety.

“I’m very sad I had to leave my country,” he said, asking for his name and location to be withheld out of fear that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government might track him down. “But at least I’m safe and out of Erdogan’s reach. He cannot hurt me anymore.”

Germany has become the top destination for political refugees from Turkey since the failed July 15, 2016 coup. Some 5,742 Turkish citizens applied for asylum here last year, more than three times as many as the year before, according to the Interior Ministry. Another 3,000 Turks have requested protection in Germany this year.

https://www.stripes.com/news/europe/turkish-political-refugees-flock-to-germany-seeking-safety-1.483708#.WZpNfChJbIU

https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2017/08/20/thousands-of-turkish-diplomats-judges-academics-have-fled-to-germany-in-aftermath-of-failed-coup.html

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