More than 2,200 irregular migrants held in past week

Published 23.07.2019 00:21

At least 2,212 irregular migrants were held across Turkey over the past week, according to data compiled by Anadolu Agency (AA) from security sources.

As many as 645 migrants were caught in multiple operations carried out by gendarmerie forces in the northwestern Edirne province, which borders Greece and Bulgaria, the AA report released yesterday said.

In the eastern provinces of Van and Erzurum, a total of 678 migrants were held by police and gendarmerie forces over the past week.

In the coastal provinces of Çanakkale, Balıkesir, Aydın, İzmir and Muğla, the Turkish Coast Guard and gendarmerie forces rounded up a total of 654 migrants as they were trying to cross to Europe through Greece.

Moreover, some 107 irregular migrants were also held by police and gendarmerie forces in the southern province of Adana.

In the northwestern province of Kırklareli, a total of 114 migrants were held by gendarmerie forces.

Separately, border forces in the southern Hatay province caught eight migrants for reportedly entering Turkey from Syria through illegal means.

A total of six migrants were held by police in the central Anatolian province of Sivas.

The migrants included Pakistani, Congolese, Syrian, Iraqi, Afghan, Egyptian, Bangladeshi, Senegalese, Central African, Algerian, Moroccan, Tunisian, Somalian, Libyan, Togo, Cameroonian and Palestinian nationals.

All of the migrants held during the week were either taken to hospital for medical care or transferred to provincial migration offices.

In 2018, some 268,000 irregular migrants were held in Turkey, according to the Interior Ministry. Turkey has been a key transit point for irregular migrants aiming to cross into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution.

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