Asylum papers of an exiled pro-Kurdish politician, who sought asylum in Germany, have been seized by Turkish authorities, Mezopotamya Agency (MA) reported on Monday.
Documents of Leyla Birlik, a former deputy of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish opposition People’s Democratic Party (HDP), were found on lawyer identified as Yilmaz S. when he was arrested in Ankara.
The lawyer commissioned by the German embassy to prepare reports on individuals who applied for asylum in Germany is accused by the Turkish government of acting against the national interests of the country.
Prosecutors accuse Yilmaz S., who was arrested in mid-September and has been held in Ankara’s Sincan prison since then, of espionage.
According to Der Spiegel, the German government is worried that the Turkish authorities have gathered sensitive information about 50 asylum seekers from Turkey, including some important Kurdish activists and supporters of the Gulen movement.
Ankara accuses the movement of orchestrating the failed coup attempt that targeted the ruling AK Party (AKP) government on July 15, 2016.
Germany’s Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) informed some 200 asylum-seekers that the sensitive information obtained by Turkey’s national intelligence agency (MIT) could lead to probes, Deutsche Welle (DW) said in a report.
Among those who were warned by German authorities was the former HDP deputy Birlik, who said to the pro-Kurdish ANF news agency that she was also told her life was in danger.
The politician accused the German government of “jeopardizing asylum-seekers’ security” by sending their application files to a lawyer in Ankara.
“Germany is responsible for the life safety of those who seek asylum there, but in this case, it has not acted like it is. … Germany should quit its silence and impose sanctions on Turkey [to provide safety for the asylum-seekers],” she explained.
It is not clear how many files were seized by Ankara and there has been no official comment from the German government on the matter.
According to official figures, Germany received some 9,500 protection applications from Turkey between January and October this year, which is eight percent higher than the number for the same period in 2018.
Turkish people rank third after Syrians and Iraqis in seeking asylum in Germany with their number dramatically increasing since 2016’s failed coup attempt.