Turkish asylum claims up 5-fold in Canada amid Erdogan’s ‘witch hunt’


One year after a dramatic military coup unfolded and ultimately failed live on Turkish state television — with defiant soldiers commandeering warplanes and facing off against government supporters on a bridge over the Bosphorous Sea — the government crackdowns that ensued continue to be felt as far away as Canada.

The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada says asylum claims from Turkey shot up to more than 1,300 during 2016 — close to five times as many as the year before — with about 398 claims accepted, about four times as many in 2015. This year, the agency says, there have already been 590 claims, 248 of which have been accepted so far.

Toronto-based lawyer Britt Gunn says many of those claims are from those afraid of being classified as terrorists under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s crackdowns. So far, tens of thousands of people with real or perceived links to polarizing cleric Fethullah Gulen — once a close ally of Erdogan’s and now the leader of the Gulen movement living in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999 — have been arrested, detained or expelled.

“People are afraid they’re going to go back, be arrested, languish in prison for who knows how long, not have access to a lawyer, not really know what the charges are against them and essentially become the victim of this witch hunt that’s being carried out,” said Gunn, who says she has about 25 clients from Turkey at the moment.

Source: Turkish asylum claims up 5-fold in Canada amid Erdogan’s ‘witch hunt’ – Toronto – CBC News

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

One Response to Turkish asylum claims up 5-fold in Canada amid Erdogan’s ‘witch hunt’

  1. Pingback: The 105th Caliph closing the mouths of those who try to speak out | Marcus Ampe's Space

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