Netherlands gives asylum to first Turks after attempted coup

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The Netherlands granted asylum to the first Turks who applied for protection after an attempted coup in Turkey last year. At least eight alleged Gulen-supporters who face persecution in Turkey now have asylum in the Netherlands, Wil Eikelboom of the association of asylum lawyers VAjN said to ANP.

The number of Turkish asylum applications in the Netherlands increased sharply following the attempted coup. In 2016 a total of 235 applications were received, and 309 so far this year. In 2015 there were only 56. The Turkish government and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hold Fethullah Gulen and his followers responsible for the attempted coup. In the months that followed, numerous alleged Gulen supporters were arrested and face prosecution. 

The Ministry of Security and Justice confirmed to ANP that asylum was granted to Turks, but refused to comment on the nature of the applications. A spokesperson also said that a number of applications were rejected. "There is no separate policy for asylum applications from Turkey. All requests are carefully reviewed and evaluated individually."