Number of Turkish asylum seekers in Germany increased by 216 percent in 2022: report

The number of Turkish nationals seeking asylum in Germany increased by 216 percent in 2022, putting Turkey third among countries with the most asylum applications in the country, Deutsche Welle (DW) Turkish service reported. 

According to the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), the number of Turkish nationals applying for asylum in Germany between January and November 2022 rose to 20,802, up from 6,254 in 2021.

Turkey is now in third place after Syria and Afghanistan, according to the BAMF data.

Lawyer Dündar Kelloğlu, who sits on the board of a nongovernmental organization working with refugees in Germany, says most Turkish asylum seekers are young people.

While the approval rate for Turks in asylum applications is 73.8 percent, it is 8.9 percent for applications from people who identify themselves as Kurds from Turkey. The number of Turks who were rejected from January to October 2022 was 451, while that of Kurds was 3,847.

According to Kelloğlu, the majority of Turkish refugees are people who allegedly have links to the Gülen movement. “Most of these people are educated and good at demanding their rights, making their justifications and expressing themselves in Germany. That is why the acceptance rate of asylum applications is high for Turks. This is not the case for most Kurdish applicants,” he said.

The Turkish government accuses the faith-based Gülen movement of masterminding a coup attempt on July 15, 2016 and labels it a “terrorist organization,” although the movement strongly denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

According to Kelloğlu, the most common reasons for fleeing Turkey are the increasing political pressure, the deteriorating economic situation and the lack of hope for a future in Turkey.

“We have been working in this field since 1997, we have looked at many cases, we have talked to many asylum seekers, and the environment in Turkey has never been so pessimistic,” Kelloğlu said.

The actual number is much higher than the BAMF stated, according to Kelloğlu. Turkish nationals who entered Germany illegally in 2022 have not yet applied for asylum because they fear rejection and deportation, Kelloğlu said. They estimate that the actual number might be three or more times higher than the official data.

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