Rally in Istanbul after the abortive coup in July.
Rally in Istanbul after the abortive coup in July. Credit: Emrah Gurel

More people from Turkey apply for asylum in Sweden

Migration Agency: Situation is uncertain
2:21 min

An increasing number of Turkish citizens are applying for asylum in Sweden.

Until the 1st of November this year, 531 people from Turkey had applied for asylum in Sweden. That is twice as many as during the whole of last year.

"We believe the increase is due to the uncertain situation in Turkey after the failed coup attempt in the middle of July this year," Carl Bexelius, deputy head of legal affairs at the Migration Agency, told Swedish Radio News.

For the time being, the Migration Agency will put all applications with a link to the coup attempt on hold, until the situation becomes clearer.

It is unclear how many from Turkey have applied for asylum in the EU as a whole, but by the end of August some 6000 Turkish citizens has applied, which is twice as much as the same period last year. Most of them have applied in Germany, with over 4000 by the end of October. A majority of them are Kurds.

The Turkish government has accused Germany of being a safe haven for the Kurdish separatist movement PKK, which is regarded as a terrorist organisation by Turkey as well as the EU.

But some of the ones applying for asylum in Germany are Turkish officers, who have defected from their jobs at Nato military bases in Germany. According to German newspapers, they may be as many as 60, which risks increasing the tension between Turkey and Germany.

Last year, the Eu-commission wanted to name Turkey a "safe country of origin", but this was shot down by national governments in the EU as well as by the European Parliament.

Around that time, approximately ten per cent of those who came from Turkey were granted asylum in the EU. But that proportion is expected to go up, reports Swedish Radio News, and no-one is today speaking about classifying Turkey as a "safe country of origin".

In Sweden, the Migration Agency will soon adopt new guidelines regarding cases from Turkey.

"At the moment we are looking at statements from Turkey regarding re-introducing the death penalty and whether that is adopted in law, as well as whether the punishments given to people who return to Turkey can be deemed disproportionate. That is what we are currently considering," says Carl Bexelius at the Migration Agency.


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