Last year’s failed “coup” in Turkey provided a golden opportunity for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to crack down on domestic dissent, consolidate and enhance his already immense powers, and hunt down the supporters of his greatest rival, another Islamic supremacist named Fethullah Gülen, who lives in exile in the United States.
Turkish Vice Ambassador in Bern asks Switzerland for Asylum
March 8, 2017
Several Turkish diplomats are asking for protection from president Erdogan. Among them: the Turkish Vice Ambassador in Bern.
Several Turkish citizens with diplomatic passports applied for asylum in Switzerland, as Tages-Anzeiger and Der Bund report. According to this account, among the applicants is the country’s #2 in Bern, Volkan Karagöz.
The experienced career diplomat even was the interim ambassador in Switzerland. After the failed coup, he threatened “terrorists” in a media conference with legal persecution, and in newspaper articles praised Turkey as a model state of law.
Applied for asylum for his family and himself
But last month his name appeared on a list of officials to be dismissed from civil service – for alleged connections with the preacher Fethullah Gülen. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accuses Gülen and his supporters of being behind the state coup against him.
Thus Karagöz became an alleged “Gülenist”, with prison awaiting him in his homeland. The diplomat was ordered back to Ankara in February. But he refused to follow the order. He applied for asylum for himself and his family in Switzerland.
Karagöz is not an isolated case. On Monday the Bundesrat confirmed during the question hour of the Nationalrat that “in some cases owners of Turkish diplomatic passports” filed applications for asylum in Switzerland. The government did not disclose further information, “as these are rather few individual cases.”