Kurds make up majority of Turks seeking asylum in Germany

The number of Turkish nationals seeking asylum in Germany spiked in the first six months of 2016, and most of them are members of the country's Kurdish minority, according to official figures from the Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF).

A total of 1,719 asylum applications were filed by Turkish nationals during the first six months of 2016, nearly as many as the 1,767 applications filed during the entire 2015 calendar year, BAMF confirmed to dpa.

Nearly 88 per cent of the asylum bids - 1,510 applications - are from people of Kurdish origin, BAMF spokesman Thomas Ritter said.

"The Office is not able to evaluate how many of the Kurds fled because of the conflict in their home country - the reasons for flight and seeking refugee are not covered by the statistic," Ritter said.

South-eastern Turkey has seen the worst violence in two decades since the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) abandoned a two-year ceasefire with the government in July 2015.

Ankara is currently conducting an unprecedented purge of suspects after a failed coup on July 15. BAMF could not say whether the coup attempt and its consequences are affecting the number of people fleeing the country for Germany.

"The dramatic developments in Turkey mean that we have to prepare for even more asylum seeker arrivals in Germany and Europe," said Karl Kopp, director of European Affairs at German aide organization Pro Asyl, adding that new arrivals would include Kurds, journalists, academics and rights activists.

According to BAMF, only 6.7 per cent of the asylum bids filed by Turkish nationals as a whole in the first half of 2016 were granted, while only 5.2 per cent of bids from Kurds were successful.

These percentages are lower than their equivalent in 2015, when 14.6 per cent of Turkish asylum bids were granted. BAMF did not specify why this year's proportion of successful applications is lower than last year's.

Last update: Fri, 05/08/2016 - 16:00
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