Turkish Erasmus students apply for asylum in Europe after their term is ended: Report

Head of the EU Delegation to Turkey Nikolaus Meyer Landrut stated that Turkish visa holders are more likely to seek asylum in recent years, and they have seen Turkish Erasmus students applying for asylum when their visa expires.

Duvar English

Head of the European Union Delegation to Turkey Nikolaus Meyer Landrut said that there was a huge increase in asylum applications from Turkish citizens in 2022 and added "We see, there are economic problems. If a person gets a visa and enters Germany, the potential for asylum requests increases. The possibility of asylum for people with visas has increased a lot.” 

He stated that they saw Erasmus students applying for asylum when their visas expired for the first time in the last year, answering the questions of İsmail Saymaz from the daily Sözcü

The Ministry of Education in 2022 drew attention to the defections of students who went abroad with Erasmus, and instructed that those at risk of defecting abroad should not be selected for the program.

On the other hand, Landrut added that there is no visa restriction policy for Turkish citizens commenting on the visa crisis allegations. 

Landrut said it is impossible to comment on the individual experiences of visa applicants. According to him, the number of applications from Turkey was over 778,000 in 2022, the highest number of applications to Europe from a single country in the world. He stated that the rejection rate was lower than the previous year. “In fact, the rejection rate dropped for the first time after 2016, and it was below the world average. There are also applications made from Turkey by non-Turkish citizens. The rejection rate is higher for them," he said.

Landrut acknowledged the absence of available data for 2023. However, he added that the embassies reassured him that no special restrictions were imposed on citizens and that the rejection rates remained consistent with previous years.

Regarding visa refusals, Landrut said, "In 2022, there was a huge increase in asylum applications from Turks. They came third after Syrian and Afghan citizens. Visa authorities take this into consideration when evaluating the applications."