Sweden refuses to deport Turkish asylum seekers linked to opposition

Sweden will "for the time being" not deport Turkish asylum seekers linked to the country's political opposition in the wake of last month's attempted coup in Turkey, authorities said Wednesday.

The Swedish Migration Agency's decision applies to individuals who have "credible links" to the failed July 15 coup attempt in Turkey, including supporters of preacher Fethullah Gulen who lives in the United States and members of the political opposition.

The agency registered 11 asylum bids from Turkish nationals since July 18, citing weekly tallies.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has blamed Gulen for the attempted coup and launched a crackdown on alleged coup planners and those accused of supporting the US-based cleric. Tens of thousands of civil servants have been suspended and more than 10,000 people arrested.

As the coup attempt was so recent it was "not possible to say if there had been a rise in {asylum] applications," a spokeswoman wrote in an email to dpa.

The Swedish agency's decision only covered "risk groups" and did not apply for all applications from Turkey.

Since January, the agency has registered 172 applications for asylum from Turkey.

Last update: Sun, 21/08/2016 - 12:38

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