Germany’s opposition Union parties submit parliamentary question concerning drastic increase in asylum applications from Turkey

The German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees

Germany’s opposition Union parties the Christian Democratic Union of Germany and the Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CDU/CSU) have submitted a parliamentary question addressing the government concerning a drastic increase in the number of asylum applications from Turkish nationals, Deutsche Welle (DW) Turkish service reported.

According to statistics, there was a 155 percent increase in asylum applications from Turkish citizens in 2023, compared to the previous year. However, only 13 percent of the applications were successful, and according to the CDU/CSU such a large gap in numbers is “worrying.”

Only two years ago 40 percent of applicants were granted asylum. 

The CDU/CSU said most asylum seekers from Turkey were not eligible for protection and had fled to Germany due to an economic crisis and political pressure. 

According to the Geneva Convention on Refugees, protection is only offered to people who are in danger or risk torture or inhuman treatment in their country of origin. 

While German authorities argue that most applications from Turkish asylum seekers do not meet eligibility criteria, migration experts say German migrations authorities are now assessing cases more strictly.

Migration lawyer Dündar Keloğlu said a couple of years ago the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) granted most asylum seekers who were under political pressure in Turkey with protection. However, today only those people who have been sentenced to prison are granted asylum.  

The rise in asylum applications from Turkey has been a concern for German politicians for some time. 

In a previous statement Andrea Lindholz, an MP from the CSU, described the number of Turkish asylum cases as “unacceptable for a NATO ally and a candidate for EU membership.”

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 marked increase.

An ongoing economic crisis in the country caused by skyrocketing inflation, which was above 60 percent in November, and the constant depreciation of the Turkish lira are also prompting some Turks to seek ways to leave the country for a better life in Europe. Moreover, yet another victory by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, whose party has been ruling Turkey since 2002, in the May general election led to disappointment among his opponents, prompting many of them to reconsider living in the country.

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