EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Turkey, which hosts some 3.5 million refugees, is generally considered a transit or bulwark country in the ongoing refugee crisis. What is less known is that Turkey is also generating refugees of its own.
According to data from the Greek Asylum Service, over the past two years, the number of asylum applicants from Turkey has grown from 189 in 2016 to 2,463 in August 2018. This represents an increase of approximately 1,300%. Moreover, according to Eurostat, approximately 25,000 Turkish citizens applied for asylum in European countries between 2016 and 2017.
The most popular destination is Germany because there is already a substantial Turkish minority there. Between 2016 and 2017, more than 14,000 Turkish citizens applied for asylum in Germany alone. Compared to the number of applicants from countries such as Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, these numbers appear unimpressive. However, if we consider the alarming rate at which the number is increasing, and that Turkey is a relatively stable and somewhat democratic country, the refugee flows from the country are a cause for concern. Their causes and potential impact on the EU warrant examination.