The European Asylum Support Office (EASO) issued a statement formally confirming information cited in an article published by uwidata.com entitled “Europe’s interest in FETÖ.” According to the Office’s statement, 51,225 members of the FETÖ terrorist organization have applied for asylum in EU countries.
The article mentioned Europe’s deep interest in the group, pointing out how “European countries almost compete with each other for the opportunity to take in Gülenists who fled from Turkey following their failed coup attempt.”
Last week, the European Asylum Agency (EASO), headquartered in Malta, reported that after the attempted coup d’etat in July 2016, 51,225 FETÖ members appealed to EU countries for asylum. A report prepared by the Agency noted that 6,500 Gülenists registered asylum applications with Greek authorities, and stressed that they were the largest group aside from Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis to apply.
According to the Agency, among the Gülenists who took refuge in European countries, most were academics, soldiers, doctors and judges.
The Agency’s report states that “a large number of Gülenist Turks are trying to penetrate Europe by settling down in Germany, after gaining entrance through Greece.
Last year, 1,300 FETÖ members applied for asylum in the Netherlands. The number of Turks seeking asylum in the Netherlands increased five-fold in comparison to 2016.”
While investigating a Turkish refugee who was denied asylum by the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Services (IND), the Dutch State Council issued a resolution stating that all members of FETÖ “are under threat of prosecution in Turkey.” Dutch lawyer Wil Eikelboom stressed the importance of the State Council’s statement, “recognizing the threat of prosecution for all FETÖ members located in Turkey.”
Previously, Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Services (IND) took their time considering applications from Turkish citizens and granted asylum only in cases where there was irrefutable evidence of persecution or torture by the petitioners.
According to the IND, in 2017, 481 applications for asylum came from Turkey, whereas by 2018 this number had grown to 1,382.
In 2018, 350 applications for asylum were approved, most of which came from members of FETÖ. The Netherlands also granted them a number of residence permits.