A total of 14,640 Turkish nationals claimed asylum in the European Union countries last year, according to Eurostat data.

Eurostat released asylum statistics compiled from all EU countries on March 18.

According to Eurostat statistics, the year 2017 saw 14,640 first-time asylum claims from Turkish nationals. The corresponding number was 10,105 in 2016 and 4,180 in 2015.

The reason for the mass exodus from Turkey was Turkish government’s post-coup crackdown against its critics: Gulen movement supporters, Kurdish minority, journalists, academics and people from many other circles.

Turkish government accuses Gulenists for the July 15, 2016 failed coup while the latter denies involvement. More than 160,000 people have been detained over Gulen links in Turkey since the summer of 2016.

Germany, Greece, France and Sweden are the top places where Turks sought protection in 2017 with 8,025; 1,820; 1290; and 825 applications lodged in each countries respectively. According to the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), another 1,400 Turks claimed asylum in Germany in the first two months of this year. BAMF also said 42 percent of asylum seeking Turks were granted protection as of February, this year.

Non-EU member Switzerland is also an increasingly preferable country for Turkish asylum seekers. 770 Turks claimed asylum in the country in 2017, a 62 percent increase from the year 2016 when the number was 475.

Meanwhile, the UK saw 430 Turkish refugee claimants in 2016 and 505 in 2017.

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