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German opposition asks gov’t about record number of asylum applications from Turkish citizens

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Germany’s main opposition, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU)/Christian Social Union (CSU), has asked the German government about the skyrocketing number of asylum applications from Turkish citizens, Deutsche Welle Turkish edition reported.

The influx of asylum seekers from Turkey to Germany has seen an unprecedented surge in past years, exceeding the number of applications from nationals of war-torn Syria and Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.

Turks are now at the forefront of asylum applications in Germany, in a significant shift in migration patterns traditionally dominated by Syrian and Afghan nationals. In 2023 there was a 155.6 percent increase in the number of asylum applications filed by Turkish citizens in Germany when compared to 2022.

The CDU/CSU, in its parliamentary question, told the German government that despite the 155.6 percent increase in the number of asylum applications from Turkish citizens last year, the approval rate dropped to 13 percent. The CDU/CSU described the discrepancy between the number of asylum applications and their approval rate as “alarming.”

According to Germany’s main opposition party, the record number of asylum applications from Turkish citizens in Germany gives an idea about the downturn in the economic and political situation in Turkey, while the fall in the approval rate is seen as the inappropriate use of the right to asylum, meaning that Turkish citizens lack the legal grounds to file asylum applications and as a result most of their applications are rejected.

Dündar Kelloğlu, a lawyer and expert on asylum law in Germany, told DW that a change in attitude among German authorities is the reason for the high rejection rate of asylum applications from Turkish citizens.

He said the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) has changed its view about asylum applications from Turkey although there has been no improvement in the human rights situation and the rule of law in the country. He said people who were prosecuted or facing arrest due to their political views used to be granted asylum in the past but that now asylum is granted only to those who were convicted in politically motivated trials.

Since a failed coup in 2016 that led to a widespread crackdown on dissent by the Turkish government, the number of Turkish nationals seeking asylum in Germany and other Western European countries has seen a significant increase.

An ongoing economic crisis in the country caused by skyrocketing inflation, which stands at close to 65 percent, and the constant depreciation of the Turkish lira is also prompting some Turks to seek ways to leave the country for a better life in Europe.

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