Asylum applications from Turkey to EU increased by 45 percent last year

Turkish citizens' asylum requests to Europe increased by 45 percent in 2021, compared to the year before, according to the European Union Statistics Office's (Eurostat) migration and asylum data.

This file photo shows people walking on Istanbul's İstiklal Avenue.

Duvar English

The number of Turkish citizens who filed an application for asylum in Europe increased by 45 percent in 2021, compared to the year before, according to reporting by BBC Turkish.

Figures released by Eurostat showed that over 20,000 Turkish citizens sought asylum in European countries last year. More than one-third of those applications were made to Germany, whereas one-fourth of them were made to France. After France came respectively Holland, Switzerland and Greece.

Germany tops the list

Germany received the most number of asylum applications from other countries as well. A total of 148,000 people applied to Germany, whereas this number was 103,000 for France, 62,000 for Spain, and 43,000 for Italy. Hungary received the lowest number of asylum applications among all EU countries: Only 40 people sought to be asylum in the country last year.

A total of 534,000 asylum applications were made across all European nations last year, out of whom 267,360 were granted protection status. Syrians, Afghans, Venezuelans and Iraqis were the main beneficiaries of protection status. Turkish citizens represented 3 percent of the total number of granted protection statutes, finding themselves seventh on the list.

The acceptance rate of Turkish asylum applications to EU countries started to increase in 2016 – the year when the failed coup attempt took place. In 2020, the number of asylum applications had fallen due to the travel restrictions imposed in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The effects of the pandemic were still felt in the beginning of 2021, but as the travel restrictions started to be lifted gradually throughout the year, the number of asylum applications saw an increase.