11 Turkish folk dancers seek asylum after attending festival in Budapest

Turkey is investigating reports that 11 Turkish folk dancers applied for asylum after attending a folk dance festival in the Hungarian capital Budapest
Tuesday, 05 December 2017 20:46

Eleven Turkish folk dancers have sought asylum in Hungary after attending an event in the country, Turkish media reported on Dec. 5.

A group of 16 dancers from the Ankara Kent Child and Youth Folk Dances Association reportedly participated in a folk dance event in Budapest titled "Farewell to Summer" between Nov. 5 and Nov. 10. However, 11 of the dancers, who had only recently received licenses, stayed on in Hungary.

The dancers had received approval to go abroad from the Turkish Folk Dance Federation and later obtained grey passports from the General Directorate of Security. After receiving their passports and documents, the folk dance team departed to Hungary on Nov. 1, four days before the scheduled date of the event.

It was not clear where the remaining dancers may have sought asylum. The Hungarian Immigration Office said they did not submit asylum requests in Hungary, but gave no further details.

Turkey’s Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Turkish Folk Dance Federation have reportedly filed a criminal complaint, and the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office announced on Tuesday that it had launched an investigation into the incident.