An annual report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on migration flows to its member countries has revealed that the number of first asylum applications to Turkey decreased by 44.5 percent in 2020, reaching around 31,000.
According to the OECD report, titled “International Migration Outlook 2021,” the majority of applicants came from Afghanistan (23,000), Iraq (5,900) and Iran (1,400).
Turkey received 578,000 new immigrants in 2019, 24 percent more than the previous year, the report said, adding that Iraq, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan were the top three nationalities of newcomers in 2019.
The emigration of Turkish nationals to OECD countries increased by 2 percent in 2019, to 70,000, the OECD said.
According to Eurostat, there has been a 494 percent rise in the number of asylum applications from Turkish citizens in EU countries over the past 12 years. While only 2,815 Turks sought asylum in EU countries in 2008, this figure rose to 13,905 in 2020. Asylum applications filed by Turkish nationals constituted around 3.4 percent of all applications with the EU in 2020.
Migration flows to the OECD countries dropped by at least one-third in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the report stated. “Permanent migration flows to OECD countries declined by more than 30% in 2020, to about 3.7 million – the lowest level since 2003.”
The number of new asylum applications in OECD countries fell by 31 percent in 2020, the sharpest drop since the end of the Balkan crisis in the early 1990s.
“For the second consecutive year, Venezuela was asylum seekers’ main country of origin, followed by Afghanistan and Syria,” the OECD said.