Thousands of Turks request asylum and live in Greece
After the attempted coup and the asylum given to the 8 Turkish officers who are accused in Turkey of being coup instigators and Gullenists, a new Turkish “community” has been created in Greece! Thousands of Turks, mostly Guillenists, come to Greece by any means, seek asylum and settle in the country.
Twenty seven months have passed since the attempted coup against Erdogan and during that period 5876 Turkish citizens, most of them accused in Turkey as members of the FETO (Fethullah terrorist organization), have applied for asylum in Greece. This number is increasing rapidly, as in October alone, 706 Turks came to Greece and have applied for asylum, while in January-October a total of 3807 Turks requested asylum and most live in Athens.
The numbers show that the flow is increasing each month. In 2013, only 17 people had applied for asylum in Greece. In 2014 41, while in 2015 42 Turkish citizens had applied for asylum. In 2016, after the coup attempt had been made against Erdogan, the requests throughout the year did not exceed 186, despite the fact that thousands of citizens had already been arrested in Turkey, accused of having been involved in the coup attempt one way or another.
2017, however, was a crucial year, as the decision of the Greek justice not to extradite the 8 Turkish officers who escaped to Greece with a military helicopter “sent a message” to Gulenists to ask for asylum. Since the Greek justice system granted asylum to officers of the Turkish armed forces who were accused in Turkey of being directly involved in the attempted coup, it was certain that it would be given to all who would come.
As a result, in 2017, asylum applications reached 1826 and in 2018 it appears that this number will be around 4500.
The big question is how can this situation continue, as the population of Turkey is 80 million and so far the Greek government has not given any indication that this would stop, cultivating a sense of certainty to those who arrive in Greece that they will be granted asylum. What will be the number of Turks accused as FETO members, 10 or even 20,000? Suddenly a Turkish community has been created and no one knows where the number will stop.
Since May last year, by decision of the Greek Justice, the 8 Turkish soldiers have taken refuge and are under the strict protection of the Greek state. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has argued that Alexis Tsipras had promised him the extradition of the 8 in Turkey, something the Greek government has declined, as it points to the independent justice. The Prime Minister has made it clear in the past that coup instigators are not welcome./IBNA