Fifty-four Turkish citizens have applied for asylum in Poland

Some Turkish nationals fleeing repression in their country have turned to Poland for refugee status, Polish website Onet has reported.

Fifty-four Turks have applied for asylum in Poland since the failed coup of July 2016 in Turkey which was aimed at overthrowing President Tayyip Erdogan, the website said.

Sixteen applications have so far been rejected by Poland's Office for Foreigners, while 13 cases were discontinued due to the departure of the asylum seekers from this country.

“These individuals have failed to present any circumstances or evidence suggesting that they are under threat of persecution or may face a risk to their life or health" once back in their country, the Office for Foreigners told Onet.

According to officials, the most common reason for applying for international protection in Poland was a desire by the Turks to make their way to Western Europe.

“This migration is chiefly economic in character,” the office’s spokesperson Jakub Dudziak told Onet.

Many of the Turkish asylum seekers in Poland are being pursued by Turkish law enforcers over their links with Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Erdogan accused of masterminding the attempt to overthrow the president, Onet reported.

Many of those who fled Turkey have been blacklisted by law enforcers and may face immediate arrest if they return, Onet said.

Polish former deputy interior minister Katarzyna Piekarska, who is assisting some Turkish families applying for refugee status in Poland, said: “These individuals have no chance of working in their homeland.”

“They will only face persecution,” she added. “If the death penalty was reinstated, they would run the risk of being executed.”