There was a 47 percent increase in the number of asylum applications filed by Turkish citizens in EU countries in 2021 compared to the previous year, according to data from the European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA).
Turkish citizens filed a total of 24,625 asylum applications in EU countries in 2021, 32 percent of which were submitted in Germany.
There was also a 14 percent decline in the number of Turkish citizens who were granted refugee status in 2021 in comparison to 2020, with only 7,910 applicants approved. Among all the applicants, 10,460 were rejected. France rejected the largest number of asylum applications, 52 percent of the total submitted from Turkish citizens.
The data also showed asylum applications from Turkey spiked in 2019, when 26,380 Turkish citizens sought asylum in the EU. The number of asylum applications fell to 16,720 in 2020 due to the circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic.
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.