German parliamentary commission discusses Turkey's arrest of embassy lawyer

German parliament’s interior affairs commission convened in a closed session on Wednesday to discuss the arrest of Yılmaz S., a lawyer who had worked for Germany’s embassy in Ankara as a consultant on asylum cases, Deutsche Welle Turkish reported.

The head of Germany's Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) called the arrest of the lawyer “a foreign policy scandal” last week, saying that employing local lawyers to investigate asylum claims was a standard practice. 

Yılmaz S. is accused by Turkish authorities of acting against Turkey’s national interest by preparing reports for the embassy on individuals living outside Turkey who Ankara accuses of being linked to terrorist organisations. 

Filiz Polat, a lawmaker of the Germany’s Green Party, told the commission that the lawyer had examined a total number of 283 asylum applications to Germany, including the one submitted by Leyla Birlik, a former deputy of the Turkey’s mainly Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP).

Yılmaz S. had with him files on 47 asylum applications, which may include information on 83 people as some applications include family members, according g to German authorities.

Lars Castellucci, a lawmaker of the Social Democratic Party, told the commission that none of the people in those files had been deported by German authorities.