The first instance asylum recognition rate in September for Turkish applicants in European countries dropped to its lowest level in five years, according to an analysis released by the European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA).
“After the recognition rate for Turkish applicants at first instance had been in decline since the beginning of the year, it dropped to the lowest level in five years (35 % in September),” the EUAA said.
According to the relevant EU directives, a first instance decision is a decision granted by an authority acting as a first instance of the asylum procedure in the receiving country.
In September, for the second consecutive month, Turks were the third largest group applying for international protection in the EU+ with nearly 5,800 applications lodged, another all-time high since at least 2014, the agency said.
Thousands of people have fled Turkey due to a massive witch-hunt carried out by the Turkish government since a coup attempt in July 2016. Many have tried to flee illegally as the government had canceled the passports of thousands of people.
This coincided with a notable rise in the number of Turkish nationals detected irregularly crossing EU borders in the first eight months of 2022 (some 8,600), which more than tripled compared to the same period of 2021, the agency said, citing Frontex data.
According to the agency, the upward trend shown by both asylum applications and detections of illegal border-crossings overlapped with a significant rise of inflation in Turkey.
Positive decisions on Turkish cases continued to grant almost exclusively refugee status, 97 percent of all positive decisions in September, the highest among the main applicant groups, the EUAA said.
A total of 23,737 Turkish nationals sought international protection in EU member states, Norway and Switzerland in 2021.
The EUAA, based in Malta, supports implementation of the Common European Asylum System by applying a bottom-up approach. Its aim is to ensure that individual asylum cases are dealt with in a coherent way by all member states.
EU+ refers to the 27 European Union member states plus Norway and Switzerland.