The number of foreigners seeking international protection in Turkey increased dramatically in 2013 compared to 2005, an official report showed.
The report, the first of its kind in Turkey, released by the Directorate General of Migration Management revealed that in 2005, about 3,000 people applied for international protection.
In 2011, the number rose to about 17,000, and exceeded 30,000 in 2013.
The report containing detailed information on migration between 2005 and 2013 was released in August. It provided information on the number of foreigners coming into Turkey legally, the estimated number of illegal immigrants, as well as those who applied for international protection.
Taner Kilic, a lawyer and chairman of Amnesty International Turkey’s Board, suggested that Afghans and Iraqis constituted the core surge in demands for international protection.
“The number of Afghans coming into Turkey from Iran during the second quarter of 2012 increased 1,500 per cent compared to the same period in 2011,” he said, adding that number of Iraqis seeking international protection had also increased due to the worsening civil war there.
The report did not include information on the applicants’ countries of origin.
The Migration Management said international protection could be granted in the form of “refugee, conditional refuge, subsidiary protection or temporary protection”.
The law requires Turkey to grant subsidiary protection to those who could face capital punishment, be subjected to torture in their homeland or be in danger due to war or conflict. Citizens of any nationality can apply for subsidiary protection in Turkey.
When compared to EU member states, the Migration Management’s report said, in 2013, Turkey was the fourth country in terms of the number of applicants asking for international protection, with Germany topping the list.
While the demand was on the rise, Turkey has appeared, according to the report, reluctant to grant international protection; it only accepted 267 applicants in 2013.
More than 100,000 people applied for protection in Turkey between 2005 and 2013.
The Directorate General of Migration Management stressed that this did not include Syrians fleeing the civil war.
The UN’s Refugee Agency disclosed last June that Turkey hosted 1,772,535 Syrian refugees.