Asylum applications filed by Turks to European countries rises nearly 50 pct in 2018

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A migrant carries his child as he walks on a railway line at the border post of Idomeni, some 600 km North of Athens, on the border Greece-Macedonia on April 21, 2015. Since Greece bolstered controls along its land border with Turkey along the Evros River, illegal immigrants have turned to the maritime route between Turkey and the Greek islands in the Aegean Sea, notably Lesvos, Samos, Kos and Chios. 2015 started with a major increase in the number of Aegean crossings : 10,445 against 2,863 in the same period of 2014, according to the Greek port police. AFP PHOTO / SAKIS MITROLIDIS / AFP PHOTO / SAKIS MITROLIDIS

A preliminary report published by the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) has revealed that asylum applications to European Union countries from Turkish citizens rose 48 percent in 2018 despite an otherwise declining trend.

Euronews reported the figures on Thursday, stating that compared to 2017 there has been an increase of 24,500 in applications from Turkish citizens.

Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis lead in asylum applications to Europe in general according to the report.

EASO also reported that the approval rate of Turkish citizens as asylum seekers rose from 33 percent in 2017 to 46 percent in 2018.

The total number of people seeking asylum in Europe in 2018 is given as 634,700, a 10 percent decline compared to the previous year.

There has been an increase in asylum requests from Turkish citizens in the wake of a coup attempt on July 15, 2016, with hundreds of thousands of Turks facing allegations of terrorism.

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