Netherlands have given asylum to eight Gülenists since failed coup
Since Turkey’s failed coup attempt last year, The Netherlands has granted asylum to eight supporters of the network of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, Netherlands Association of Asylum Lawyers (VAJN) Chair Jan Eikelboom has said, BBC Turkish reported on Oct. 19.
The eight individuals were accused in Turkey over their alleged role in the July 15, 2016 coup attempt and their asylum requests were accepted on the grounds that there was a “risk of them suffering oppression in Turkey,” Eikelboom said.
The Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice has confirmed that some Turkish citizens’ asylum requests have been accepted by the government, but has so far not released a statement regarding the cause the asylum requests.
The Dutch government reportedly provided temporary residence permits to a number of Turkish citizens who made the necessary applications following last year’s coup attempt, widely believed to have been masterminded by followers of Gülen.
After an 18-month period, during which the applicants’ situations were analyzed, the Dutch Security and Justice Ministry has now announced that the “prolonged asylum process” has come to an end.
A ministry spokesperson indicated that some of the asylum applications have been approved and some have been rejected, BBC Turkish reported. The ministry added that every file has been examined “on a detailed and personal basis.”
The Dutch government says the number of Turkish citizens seeking asylum in the Netherlands has been gradually rising since last year, mirroring trends elsewhere in Europe. There were 56 asylum applications in the Netherlands from Turkey in 2015 but this figure was 235 in 2016. In the first eight months of this year, 309 Turkish citizens sought asylum in the Netherlands.