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8,600 Turks illegally crossed EU borders in first 6 months of 2022

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The number of Turkish nationals detected irregularly crossing EU borders between January and August of 2022 was 8,600, local media reported on Tuesday, citing data from the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex).

The figure is more than triple the first six months of 2021 and well above the peak in 2018 and 2019.

According to Turkish media reports, a significant number of Turks were also intercepted at the Mexico-US border in the first 10 months of 2022.

A similar trend is also seen in the number of Turks who applied for asylum in EU countries this year, a report by the Serbestiyet news website showed.

Turkish nationals are the third largest group among those who applied for asylum in Germany, Serbestiyet said, adding that the number of Turks seeking asylum in all EU countries in the same period neared 20,000, which is equal to the total number of Turks who applied for asylum in EU countries in 2021.

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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