Cyprus Mail
Cyprus

Turkish navy officer seeking asylum

Navy officer and his wife arrived by boat at Larnaca marina

A man who claims to be an officer of the Turkish navy asked for political asylum along with his wife after they arrived in a boat at the Larnaca marina, it was reported on Monday.

According to the Cyprus News Agency, the couple arrived at Larnaca in a yacht on Sunday morning, and as soon as it docked the man contacted the port police, claiming to be in danger of persecution due to his position as a military officer and requesting political asylum.

CNA reported that the man opted to stay in the yacht with his wife, under surveillance by the port police.

Meanwhile, the immigration and asylum service was notified of the incident, as were other state agencies.

Unofficial reports suggest that the man fled Turkey during an operation to arrest suspected sympathisers of the Gulen movement last Friday.

The operation led to the arrest of 117 military officers who allegedly used payphones to contact their “Gulenist brothers”.

The movement bears the name of Fetullah Gulen, a Turkish preacher living in the United States who has turned from friend to fierce critic of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

It has been deemed a subversive and terrorist organisation by the Turkish government, which claims it planned and executed the failed coup against it in July 2016.

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