Turkish Rear Admiral Mustafa Zeki Ugurlu has applied for asylum in te U.S, Anadolu news agency reported. The officer says he became the target of government purges after failed coup attempt on July 15.
Ugurlu was serving as a liaison officer at NATO's Allied Command Transformation in Norfolk, Virginia. Now he is the subject of a detention order in Turkey and has been expelled from the armed forces, the report added.
It is the first known asylum bid case, which involves a Turkish officer in the United States.
A Turkish embassy official in Washington said that Ugurlu had failed to report to authorities after Turkey issued a detention order for him last month."On July 22, on that day he left his badges and his ID at the base and after that no one has heard anything from him,"
the official told Reuters news agency, on condition of anonymity.
The Turkish official added that he was unaware that Ugurlu had requested asylum in the US, while mentioning that two other low-level naval officers had been recalled to Turkey from the US.Read also
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Since the failed coup attempt, thousands of soldiers have been discharged from NATO's second-largest standing army, including around 40 percent of generals.
Such move could further strain relations between the two countries, as U.S. didn’t extradite Fethullah Gulen, who is believed to mastermind Turkish coup.