Germany approved nearly half of asylum applications from Turkish citizens in 2020

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Nearly 50 percent of the asylum applications filed in Germany by Turkish citizens in 2020 were approved, according to the German Interior Ministry, Deutsche Welle’s Turkish edition reported on Thursday.

Thousands of people had to flee Turkey in the aftermath of a coup attempt in July 2016, following which Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) launched a widespread crackdown on non-loyalist citizens under the pretext of an anti-coup fight. These people, some of whom had to flee the country illegally by way of the Aegean Sea or Maritsa River land border because their passports had been canceled under state of emergency measures taken by the government, applied for asylum in Europe and other countries.

The German Interior Ministry, responding to a parliamentary inquiry from the Left Party, announced that 47.7 percent of the asylum applications filed by Turkish citizens were approved in 2020. The rate of approval for the year 2018 was 46.7 percent and 52.7 percent in 2019.

The ministry data also showed that a downward trend in the number of asylum applications filed by Turks in Germany was continuing, with 10,356 in 2018, 10,833 in 2019 and 5,782 in 2020.

Left Party member Sevim Dağdelen, who submitted the parliamentary inquiry about Turks’ asylum applications in Germany, said the travel restrictions imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic might have played a role in the fall in the number of asylum applications Germany received from Turkish citizens.

Dağdelen said the approval rate of asylum applications from Turkish citizens shows that Turkey is not recognized as a safe third country.

Dağdelen also criticized arms sales by Germany to Turkey as well as the financial aid it provides although Turkey is not seen as a safe country.

“If nearly one out of every two people who fled the [regime] of an autocrat [referring to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] can get asylum in Germany, the German government’s continuation of arms sales to Turkey as well as providing it with financial aid is an act of recklessness,” said Dağdelen.

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