NICOSIA (AP) — An official says a Turkish military officer is seeking asylum in Cyprus after sailing into a port on the island’s southern coast aboard a small sailboat.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he’s not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, said Monday the officer was accompanied by his wife when they arrived at Larnaca port in the internationally recognized, southern part of the ethnically divided island.
No details were given about the officer’s identity, rank, or the military branch he serves in. State-owned Cyprus News Agency said the officer told authorities on arrival Sunday that he feels persecuted.
Turkey has jailed more than 50,000 people in a crackdown against suspected supporters of Fethullah Gulen, who it accuses of being behind a failed 2016 coup. Gulen denies the claim.