Turkish diplomats on the run after failed coup attempt

Two military attaches have reportedly fled to Italy

Turkish diplomats on the run after failed coup attempt

Turkish Cypriot demonstrators wave Turkish and Turkish Cypriot flags during a mass rally in support of Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erodgan | Image: Philippos Christou / AP/Press Association Images

Several Turkish diplomats are said to be on the run after missing a deadline to return to Ankara following last month's failed coup.

Two military attaches based in Greece, who had been told to return home, have fled to Italy, according to Turkey's foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Two civil servants based in Bangladesh, meanwhile, are understood to have travelled to New York.

Mr Cavusoglu told Turkish private broadcaster NTV the deadline for Turkish diplomats recalled to Ankara as part of investigations into the attempted coup expired on Thursday.

He warned that legal action will be taken against those who fail to return.

A senior Turkish official told news agency Reuters Turkey's military attache in Bosnia is also missing, although that has been denied by a press officer at the embassy.

"Turkey's military attache in Bosnia was not called to Ankara, he is doing his business as usual," the press officer said.

Turkey has suspended, detained or placed under investigation more than 60,000 soldiers, police officers, civil servants, teachers, bureaucrats and others since rouge members of the armed forces attempted to seize power on July 15th.

Some 40% of military generals have been discharged over the last few weeks and 300 members of the foreign ministry have been suspended, including two ambassadors.

Mr Cavusoglu said Turkish authorities have established that the military attaches who fled Greece had left for Italy on a ferry with their families on August 6th.

He said Turkey has also asked Washington for information on a Turkish military official based in the US, who is reportedly seeking asylum there after being recalled, but has not yet received a response.

He also repeated a demand that the extradition of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Turkey accuses of masterminding the coup attempt.

The cleric denies any involvement.