Sweden approves two-thirds of Turkish asylum applications filed mainly by Gülen followers

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PHOTO: The Local

Swedish authorities in 2018 approved two-thirds of asylum applications from Turkish nationals, most of whom were linked to the Gülen movement, the Swedish Aftonbladet daily reported on Monday.

The number of asylum seekers from Turkey increased from 253 in 2015 to 738 in 2016. The following year, the figure rose to 872 and then dropped slightly and landed at 493 last year, according to the Swedish Migration Board.

The approval rate for applications was 12.1 percent in 2016 and 8 percent in 2017.

The report said after the first applications were settled, the authorities started to handle similar cases more quickly.

Following a coup attempt in 2016 thousands of Gülenists fled persecution in Turkey after the Ankara government launched a massive crackdown targeting followers of the movement.

Ankara accuses the Gülen movement of orchestrating the failed coup, although it strongly denies any involvement.

Some 140,000 public servants have been dismissed and more than 600,000 people have been investigated due to their alleged links to the movement since the coup.

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