Protecting their identity, former Turkish military officers who have been granted asylum in Norway, pose for a photograph in Stavanger, Norway, Monday, April 3, 2017. (AP Photo/David Keyton)
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Norway and Turkey – NATO's northern and southern frontiers in Europe – have been pillars of the Western military alliance for more than 60 years. But the diplomatic temperature between the two has fallen steadily since Turkey recalled dozens of military officers as suspects in an aborted coup – and Norway became the first nation to grant some of them asylum.Turkey's Foreign Ministry summoned the Norwegian ambassador for an explanation while the officers remain in Stavanger, a city on Norway's west coast that lies 3,800 kilometers (2,360 miles) from Ankara.The men trying to forge new lives in Stavanger are among a cadre of commissioned officers working at NATO facilities around Europe during the July 15 thwarted coup that the Turkish government suspects them of playing roles in.The former officers bristle at being branded "traitors".The four former officers in Norway deny being Gulen supporters and think the government is using the coup as an excuse to crush its critics.Dressed in the casual cold-weather wear of Norwegian civilians during an early spring evening on the Stavanger fjord, the four officers joke that they've already embraced a Nordic lifestyle.
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