The Finnish Immigration Service (MIGRI) on Monday announced that most of the new asylum seekers last year arrived from Turkey and Russia.
“Most of the Turkish applicants referred to the real or assumed membership in the Gülen movement and the resulting threat imposed on them …” the institution said in a press release on its website, quoting Antti Lehtinen, director of the Asylum Unit.
The statement also said a total of 4,550 asylum applications were lodged throughout the year, of which 2,467 were by new asylum seekers. It did not, however, disclose how many of them were Turkish nationals.
Turkey accuses the faith-based Gülen movement of orchestrating a coup attempt in July 2016, although the movement denies any involvement in it.
Based on a blanket retroactive criminalization of the group, the Turkish authorities have been going after anyone with real or perceived links to it, investigating over half a million people and imprisoning nearly 100,000.
As a result Turks have climbed significantly among nationalities seeking asylum across Europe, with a particularly noteworthy increase in Germany.