Many of the Turkish opposition parties who sought shelter in Sweden after the failed coup attempt in the summer of 2016 have been refused their asylum applications.
42-year-old Ömer fled to Sweden to avoid a longer prison sentence but was denied asylum in December ifjol.
“We flew in order not to end up in prison. And we chose Sweden because we heard that nobody would be expelled from here after the attempted coup, “said Ömer Turk, who at the time of the coup attempt was the principal of a school run by the Gülen movement, the group that the ruling AKP has named as a bunker.
Ömer Turk is one of a dozen Gülenan hanger that Ekot had been in contact with, and all of them were rejected after the Migration Board began to investigate these cases this summer.
Of the 183 Turkish cases that were settled last year, only 15 people were granted asylum. And Carl Bexelius, Deputy Head of Legal Affairs at the Swedish Migration Board, believes that a large proportion of these cases had a link to the attempted coup.
And, according to Carl Bexelius, that no-one is allowed asylum, it is not enough to belong to a vulnerable group, for example, to be a Gülenan hanger.
– Additional factors are required. And, for example, it may be that you have been particularly prominent, and there is greater interest in the regime to legislate and perhaps even statute examples, “says Carl Bexelius.
The coup attempt in July 2016 triggered a wave of arrests in Turkey. Thousands of people have been accused of interfering with terrorist organizations and imprisoned. According to human rights organizations, it has often been on a loose basis.
Ömer Turk was detained for four months. However, while waiting for a longer prison sentence to be confirmed by a higher court, he was released at liberty and could fly the country, together with his wife and three children. It was in March last year.
In December he was refused, inter alia on the grounds that he had been able to leave Turkey without any problems and that the trial he had yet indicates that the rule of law is working there.
– I had absolutely not left Turkey if there had been a rule of law. What I have relocated is the lack of rule of law, human rights violations and torture. I can not return, he says.