Turkey Seeks 32 Diplomats Who Fled Abroad to Avoid Purge

FM: 208 Diplomats 'Recalled' in Course of Coup Investigation

by Jason Ditz, August 12, 2016

Turkey’s ongoing post-coup purge has had an impact on broad swathes of the Turkish government, and the Foreign Ministry appears no different, with officials today confirming the government is seeking the recovery of 32 diplomats who “fled the country” to avoid being swept up in the purge.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu reported that 208 diplomats were recalled as part of the post-coup investigation, but that 32 of them had not returned, and that the government is seeking the extradition of all of them. It is unclear where these many diplomats ended up.

This is a story that’s increasingly common across Turkey, with the government seeking large numbers of high-profile extraditions related to the coup. Three high-ranking military attaches are abroad in the same boat, and an admiral is seeking asylum in the United States. Turkey is also seeking the arrest of a famous retired soccer player, who is also believed to have fled to the US, and Fethullah Gulen, a cleric living in exile in Pennsylvania.

So far Turkey has been less than successful in securing the return of most of these people, though they did manage to get a couple of military officers captured in Dubai and extradited, including their top-ranking official in Afghanistan. The US has sought evidence to back the extradition requests they’re receiving, but so far Turkey has reacted with outrage, and insisted that if the US was a good ally they’d hand them over without all the questions.

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