Turks filed 2,571 asylum applications in the EU, Norway and Switzerland (EU+) in November, the largest group of asylum seekers after Afghans, Syrians, Iraqis, Venezuelans and Pakistanis, according to an analysis released by the European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA) on Friday.
The agency said asylum applications in November 2021 were the second highest in five years, narrowly below the level recorded in September, with some 71,400 applications filed for international protection in the EU+.
Filing 13,040 applications in November, Afghans remained the largest group of applicants, followed by Syrians (11,497 applications), Iraqis (4,267), Venezuelans (3,281) and Pakistanis (2,784).
Asylum applications lodged by Turkish nationals in the EU, currently accounting for 3.6 percent of all applicants, increased significantly after a failed coup in 2016.
The Turkish government launched a massive crackdown targeting followers of the faith-based Gülen movement in the aftermath of a 2016 failed coup that the Turkish government blamed on the movement, although it strongly denies any involvement.
Since then, the number of Turks seeking asylum in Western European countries has been on the rise.
Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu announced in November a total of 319,587 people have been detained and 99,962 arrested in operations against supporters of the Gülen movement since the coup attempt.
The Turkish government also removed more than 130,000 civil servants from their jobs on alleged Gülen links following the coup attempt.
In addition to the thousands who were jailed, scores of other Gülen movement followers had to flee Turkey to avoid the government crackdown.