The Australia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection has received 389 applications by Turkish nationals for protection since the attempted coup in 2016, according to media.

The oceanic country’s leading newspaper, the Australian said Feb 27 that the government has started approving protection visas for followers of the Gulen movement who have escaped Turkey since the summer of 2016.

“Australian supporters of Gulen and his Hizmet movement say there are 45 Turkish families who fled persecution by the Erdogan regime after a failed 2016 coup and have applied for permanent asylum here as political refugees. It is understood that of those, three have been granted protection visas; a decision which enables them to legally stay in Australia while their claims are processed. The other cases are awaiting ­immigration decisions,” the newspaper said.

In total, 389 Turkish citizens have claimed asylum in Australia since the failed putsch, according to the newspaper’s sources at the responsible government agency.

Among the Turkish refugee claimants in Australia is a 33-year-old businessman from Istanbul who fled Turkey along with his wife and daughter.

While Asim’s managed to escape to Australia, the newspaper said his brother-in-law seeks refuge in Canada and his sister-in-law and mother-in-law had to escape to Kyrgizistan.

“People who are identified as members or sympathisers of the Gulen movement and the coup are arrested and detained without charges or rights to see lawyers. … These people are indefinitely detained without a trial and are ­denied food, water and medical treatment. Some have been ­beaten, tortured and raped,” Asim says.

Turkish government blames Gulenists for the failed coup while the group denies involvement. 150,000 people have been detained and 60,000 were remanded in prison over Gulen links in Turkey so far.