Immigration officials released figures for the first half of this year showing that more citizens of Turkey are seeking asylum in Norway. They claim they’re being persecuted by Turkish officials who continue to crack down on opposition to the country’s increasingly authoritarian government.
Most of those seeking asylum say they’ve been tied to the Gülen network that the Turkish government claims has tried to topple the Erdogan regime in Turkey. A total of 245 people from Turkey have sought asylum, 142 of them in June alone. Most of them have been offered protection in Norway.
A total of 1,116 asylum seekers arrived in Norway during the first half of the year, 30 less than the number who arrived in the same period last year and much lower than the 1,703 asylum seekers who arrived in 2016.
The numbers of immigrants granted permanent residence who then ask to bring their families to Norway are also down, to the lowest level in the past five years. The decline amounted to 17 percent compared to last year, also a result of far fewer asylum seekrs arriving in the Norway since the refugee influx of 2015. Most of those seeking family reunification come from Syria and Eritrea, followed by people from Thailand, India and the Philippines who mostly apply for residence in order to live with Norwegian citizens or foreigners working in Norway.