In the past few months, hundreds of asylum seekers from Turkey have arrived in Norway. Now the Immigration Directorate (UDI) Want to find out why.
“We will conduct a thorough review of why so many people are applying right now, and why Norway appears attractive,” said Frode Forfang, Director of Foreign Affairs to NTB news.
So far this year, 245 Turkish people have applied for asylum in Norway.A total of 142 of them came in June alone.They accounted for approximately half of all asylum seekers in June.
“We see a significant trend. Therefore, we are a little alerted by this group,” Forfang said.
Most justify asylum applications because they are linked to the forbidden Gülen network and pursued by Turkish authorities. So far,most people who have applied for asylum on this basis have received protection in Norway, according to UDI.
The political situation in Turkey is very tense after the alleged coup attempt almost two years ago. Since then, Turkish authorities have arrested around 160,000 people and human rights of hundreds of thousands have been violated. Turkey has also become the country in the world that has imprisoned most journalists, according to Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
Following the elections in late June, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also tightened his grip on power.
Many of the Turkish asylum seekers have flown to Norway via Greece.Thus, according to the Dublin Regulation, Greece is responsible, said UDI.
“But Greek authorities have consistently refused to accept these refugees.This means that Norway will be in charge of these matters’’,said Forfang.
However, the last ones who have come from Turkey must undertake to wait for answers to their applications until UDI has obtained updated information on the situation in their home country.
“We know that many people in the Gülen network have been imprisoned in Turkey. But the crucial thing is what they risk in the future. Therefore,we have decided to await further processing of these cases,” said Forfang.
UDI will also look into how other European countries handle Turkish asylum seekers.
“We can not have a practice that differs significantly from other European countries, but we need to make sure we handle the issues correctly,” Forfang said.
He received full support from the Justice, Preparedness and Immigration Minister,Tor Mikkel Wara of Fremskrittsparti (Frp).
“It is important that Norwegian asylum practice is not organised so that Norway appears to be significantly more attractive than other European countries.I therefore fully support the Executive Director’s decision that,in the light of the arrival figures, there has recently been a need to suspend the processing of asylum applications from Turkish citizens,” Wara said in a press release.
Asylum numbers down
In spite of the fact that there are more from Turkey,the arrows for asylum flows continue downward show the half-yearly statistics presented by UDI on Thursday.
In the first half of the year, UDI received 1,511 asylum applications, against 2,382 in the same period last year and 1,703 in 2016. The forecast for asylum seekers in 2018 was recently adjusted from 3,000 to 2,000.
In parallel with fewer asylum seekers, the number of applicants for family reunification has also decreased and is now the lowest in five years.
On the other hand, the number of non-Europeans receiving work permits in Norway has increased by 10% compared to the same period last year show the UDI’s half-year figures.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today