Kurds in Turkey have long faced political tensions, cultural suppression, and economic difficulties, which have prompted an increasing number to seek refuge abroad. Germany, known for its history of hosting asylum seekers, has emerged as a significant destination due to its reputation for providing a safe haven for those in need.
The numbers speak volumes: in 2021, 7,067 Turkish citizens applied for asylum in Germany, a figure that surged to 23,938 in 2022. This trend persists, with 23,082 applications submitted in the first seven months of 2023.
According to Deutsche Welle, more than 80 per cent of the applicants were Kurds. However, the acceptance rate of their asylum applications dropped to 4.8 per cent. Analysts predict that current political tensions and the associated economic crisis will likely lead to a further increase in asylum applications.
The increased number of Kurdish asylum seekers reflects the marginalised status and unique challenges faced by Kurds in Turkey. The evolving political landscape and restrictions on cultural expression have disproportionately affected Kurdish communities.
As Germany grapples with this influx, it is increasingly selective in its acceptance criteria, with only 15% of Turkish asylum applications approved in the first half of 2023, down from 27.8% the previous year.