At least 3,735 irregular migrants were held across Turkey over the past week, according to data compiled by Anadolu Agency from security sources.
In the coastal provinces of Muğla, Çanakkale, Izmir, Balıkesir, Mersin and Aydın, the Turkish Coast Guard Command and gendarmerie forces rounded up over 1,500 migrants trying to cross to Europe through Greece.
Separately, 303 migrants were held by gendarmerie forces in the northwestern provinces of Kırklareli and Tekirdağ.
Another 333 irregular migrants were held by police in the northwestern province of Istanbul.
The migrants included nationals of Pakistan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Egypt, Bangladesh, Yemen, Palestine, Libya, Lebanon, and a wide range of African countries.
Turkish gendarmerie forces also held 1,475 migrants in the northwestern province of Edirne, which borders Greece and Bulgaria.
According to local security forces in Edirne, Greece has recently stepped up efforts to send irregular migrants to Turkey in violation of the Geneva Convention, European Convention on Human Rights and the U.N. Convention Against Torture.
All of the migrants held during the week were either taken to hospitals for medical treatment or transferred to provincial migration offices.
Turkey has been a key transit point for irregular migrants aiming to cross to Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution.
In 2018, some 268,000 irregular migrants were held in Turkey, according to the Interior Ministry.
Nearly 337,000 irregular migrants have been held in 2019 so far, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said.
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