Turkey

44 irregular migrants held in Aegean Turkey

Irregular migrants trying to get by boat to Greece intercepted by coast guard

Suat Salgin   | 10.02.2020
44 irregular migrants held in Aegean Turkey

BALIKESIR, Turkey

Turkish security forces on Monday held 44 irregular migrants attempting to cross into Europe through the country’s Aegean Balikesir province, said security sources.

Patrolling in the Aegean, Turkish Coast Guard teams noticed a group of people trying to get to the Greek island of Lesbos, and intercepted their boat and held the migrants, said the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

Among the migrants were nationals of Afghanistan, Somalia, Gambia, Togo, and Mali. They were later transferred to provincial migration offices for legal processing.

In 2019, Turkish authorities held nearly 455,000 irregular migrants across the country, including about 60,000 trying to cross the Mediterranean.

As many as 268,000 irregular migrants were held in Turkey in 2018, 175,000 each in 2017 and 2016, and 146,000 in 2015.

About 28,000 human traffickers have also been rounded up by the authorities in the past five years.

*Writing by Fahri Aksut

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