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Number of Turks seeking asylum in Greece rises fivefold since 2014

Turkish officers are escorted by Greek special police forces as they leave the Greek Supreme Court in Athens, after a hearing concerning a possible extradition of the officers over July's failed coup in Turkey, on January 23, 2017 in Athens. AFP PHOTO / ANGELOS TZORTZINIS

The number of Turkish citizens seeking asylum in Greece has increased fivefold since 2014 as a total of 236 Turks have applied for asylum in the country since a  failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, according to a report in Deutsche Welle.

Basing its report on the Greek newspaper Kathimerini, Deutsche Welle reported on Friday that 236 Turkish citizens have applied for asylum in Greece since July 15 and that 98 of these applications were filed in the first two months of 2017.

In 2014, 41 Turks applied for asylum in Greece, while this figure was 42 in 2015.

It is reported that the Greek asylum authority keeps only the number of Turks who have submitted official asylum applications; hence, the exact figure might be higher.

Eight Turkish officers who are accused of being coup plottersfled to Greece in the aftermath of the coup attempt. Greece’s refusal to extradite these officers to Turkey has led to tension between the two countries. Greek authorities are expected to make a final decision on the officers in April.

A large number of Turks have applied for asylum mainly in European countries in the aftermath of the coup attempt to save themselves from a post-coup witch-hunt being conducted by the Turkish government.

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