14,000 Turkish terrorists in Germany - Turkish official
Thousands of terrorists have fled Turkey since the July 2016 coup attempt, with at least 14,000 ending up in Germany, Turkish officials told state-run Anadolu Agency.
Turkish citizens' 17,000 requests for asylum in the European Union in the past two and a half years "have been dominated by" suspected members of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ"), the group linked to exiled Turkish imam Fethullah Gülen that Turkey accuses of masterminding the 2016 coup attempt.
Acting as a charity movement, FETÖ is widely tolerated in Germany, where some 14,000 of its members now live, said a Turkish official who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
Both federal and state governments embrace FETÖ members and turn a blind eye to their activities. It makes Germany a favored destination for the group, whose members are sought by Turkey around the world.
According to the source, before the 2016 coup attempt, there were almost no asylum applications from Turkey to EU countries, but in the two years since, there have been over 17,300.
While most of Turkey's other allies, especially countries in Africa, cooperate with Ankara in shutting down FETÖ schools and deporting the group's members, Germany often faces criticism from Turkish officials for its tolerant policy toward Gülenists, said Daily Sabah.
FETÖ "refugees" find assistance from the nonprofit Aktion für Flüchtlingshilfe (Aid Action for Refugees), which helps the group's members from Turkey learn German and find jobs and accommodation in the country.