Number of Turks seeking asylum in European countries up 9% in 2019

Applications by Turkish nationals for protection in Europe has seen a fresh rise in 2019. Over 25,000 applied for asylum last year, with Germany the preferred destination for more than 10,000 Turks.

Turks were the sixth largest group seeking refuge in Europe in 2019, according to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. A total of 25,885 asylum applications were made.

Of these, 10,785 requests were made to Germany. 3,795 applicants opted for Greece, with France (3,725) making up the top three, according to the Nordic Monitor.

The United Kingdom (1,265), the Netherlands (1,250), Switzerland (1,225) and Belgium (1,000) also received applications from those seeking to flee Turkey.

Europe had seen a huge spike in Turkish asylum seekers since 2016, following the failed coup and subsequent government crackdown. Thousands of people have lost their jobs or been arrested and jailed following a purge of those perceived to be members of FETO, a clandestine group which the Turkish government regards as responsible for the coup attempt. Government critics have also been caught up in the purge.

The number of Turks seeking asylum in Germany has grown significantly since 2016. Around 1,800 Turks had sought asylum annually between 2013 and 2015. According to the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) this grew to 5,742 in 2016, with 8,483 applications in 2017 and 10,160 in 2018.

A total of 612,700 first-time asylum seekers applied for international protection in the Member States of the EU in 2019, according to Eurostat. The largest number of applications came from Syrian, Afghan and Venezuelan citizens.

Analysis shows 38% of those who applied for asylum in 2019 were successful.