Nearly 300 Turkish diplomats seek asylum in Germany since coup attempt

BERLIN - Nearly 300 Turkish diplomats have sought asylum in Germany since a failed coup in Turkey in July 2016, a German newspaper reported Saturday.
Data from the German interior ministry showed 1,177 Turks with diplomatic status or official credentials, including the spouses and children of diplomats, had requested asylum, the Welt am Sonntag newspaper said.
No comment was immediately available from the ministry.
Following the coup attempt, Turkey has arrested more than 40,000 people and sacked or suspended more than 100,000 in the military, civil service and private sector.
Germany's mainstream parties have been outspoken critics of Turkey's crackdown. Turkey in turn has pressed Germany repeatedly to hand over people it believes were involved in the coup.
Strained relations between the NATO partners have improved slightly in recent months, however.
Turkish voters go to the polls on Sunday in parliamentary and presidential elections. Opinion polls have shown a tight race for parliament, with President Tayyip Erdogan's AK Party and its allies possibly losing their majority.
They also suggest that the presidential vote may go to a second round, when Erdogan is expected to beat the main opposition candidate, Muharrem Ince.