By Mehmet Tosun and Sarp Ozer
ISTANBUL (AA) - Turkey has urged NATO to reject the asylum requests of Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO)-linked Turkish commissioned officers serving in the alliance, a Defense Ministry source told Anadolu Agency Monday.
The request was made during Defense Minister Fikri Isik’s meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Istanbul Monday, the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, said.
Isik and Stoltenberg's had met within the scope of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly's 62nd Annual session.
"It would be unacceptable for Turkey if NATO granted asylum to its non-commissioned FETO-linked officers working in the alliance," Isik said. "Turkey's sensitivity on the issue should be understood clearly," he added, according to the source.
The minister's remarks came after the international media reported that Turkish officers in NATO had sought asylum in allied countries following the July 15 defeated coup.
Stoltenberg said he stood by Turkey and understood the issue's severity when he visited the Turkish parliament last month, the source added.
The July 15 coup bid in Turkey left 248 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured. Turkey accuses FETO – led by Fetullah Gulen, a resident of the U.S. state of Pennsylvania – of organizing the deadly defeated coup as well as a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.