Number of Turkish asylum seekers in Europe hits record high

The European Asylum Support Office (EASO) received a record number of applications from Turkish nationals in October, Deutsche Welle’s Turkish service reported on Tuesday. 

The agency received a total of 60,500 applications in the month from all nationalities, 2,880 of which were submitted by Turkish nationals. Applications by Turks increased 9 percent compared to the previous month.

The EASO said that information provided in the applications showed that most people had entered European countries a short while ago. 

As of October, 17,300 Turkish nationals are waiting for the agency to rule on their requests. Meanwhile, the EASO approved 44 percent of applications by Turkish citizens in the last six months, DW said. 

Following a failed coup attempt in July 2016, a series of government purges against the alleged followers of U.S.-based Islamist cleric Fethullah Gülen, including civil servants, teachers, academics and journalists, have driven many thousands of Turks into seeking refuge abroad. The government has also cracked down on pro-Kurdish activists and politicians.

As of November, nearly 25,000 Turkish citizens had applied for asylum in Germany alone following the coup attempt. The number seeking asylum in Europe’s largest economy increased by 33 percent in 2018 compared to the previous year.