The number of Turks seeking asylum in Germany surpassed that of Turkish citizens of Kurdish origin in 2018, Deutsche Welle Turkish service reported on Thursday, citing the Die Welt daily.
According to figures acquired from Germany’s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), the number of Turkish asylum seekers saw a fivefold increase between 2016 and 2018, rising from 1,197 to 5,776 and outnumbering the 4,067 Turkish nationals of Kurdish descent who applied in 2018.
Turkish citizens seeking asylum in Germany as well as other Western European countries has notably surged in the aftermath of a coup attempt in July 2016.
2016 has also been a threshold for the proportion of applications that were accepted. Forty percent of applications lodged by Turkish citizens had a positive outcome in 2018, while it was around 7 percent in 2016.
Another notable aspect of the rise was the increase in the level of education, with nearly one in two applicants being a university graduate, much higher than the average of other nationalities, which stood at 17 percent.
German Interior Ministry data showed that asylum seekers from Turkey included 316 individuals with diplomatic passports along with 115 other public officials.
In January Interior Minister Horst Seehofer had revealed that the number of Turkish citizens seeking asylum had increased by nearly a quarter in 2018, in spite of an overall decline in applications as a result of stricter asylum rules recently adopted by the German government for the management of migrants as well as border control.
The Turkish government launched a massive crackdown targeting followers of the faith-based Gülen movement in the aftermath of a 2016 failed coup, which the Turkish government blames on the movement, although it denies any involvement.