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Turkish citizens third largest group filing for asylum in Europe in 2022

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Turkish citizens filed a total of 55,000 asylum applications in EU countries, Switzerland and Norway in 2022, making Turks the third largest group of asylum seekers after Syrians and Afghans, according to data released by the European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA) on Wednesday.

EUAA’s Asylum Trends 2022 revealed that a total of 966,000 asylum applications were filed in the EU countries, Switzerland and Norway in 2022, a 50 percent increase over 2021, when travel restrictions were in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Asylum applications from Turkish citizens in the European countries in 2022 doubled compared to 2021.

Syrian and Afghan citizens, who preceded Turkey in the number of applications, filed 132,000 and 129,000 asylum applications in the European countries, respectively.

Around 4 million Ukrainians who had to flee due to a war launched by Russia in February 2022, and took refuge in European countries have not been included these figures as they were given temporary protection status and did not have to file for asylum.

The large number of people fleeing Turkey and seeking asylum in Europe is seen by many as a result of the declining Turkish democracy.

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.

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