There was a 45 percent increase in the number of asylum applications filed by Turkish nationals in EU countries in 2021, with 20,000 Turks seeking shelter in Europe that year, according to the latest data from Eurostat.
In 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic led to travel restrictions around the world, some 13,000 Turkish citizens sought asylum in EU countries.
In 2021 more than one-third of asylum applications, around 7,000, from Turks were filed in Germany, while 5,000 were filed in France, followed by the Netherlands, Switzerland and Greece.
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 Evros 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.