Turkey: 2,800+ irregular migrants held over past week

Due to its geographical location, Turkey stands as main route for irregular migrants attempting to cross into EU

Ali Murat Alhas   | 04.08.2019
Turkey: 2,800+ irregular migrants held over past week


At least 2,820 irregular migrants were held across Turkey from over the past week, according to datacompiled by Anadolu Agency from security forces.

Turkey connects Asia to Europe due to its geographical location, hence being the main route for the irregular migrants who look forward to starting a new life in European countries.

About 1,062 irregular migrants were held in northwestern province of Edirne, bordering Greece and Bulgaria. Also, additional 197 of them were held in Tekirdag province, near Edirne. Operations in these provinces were conducted by Turkish Gendarmerie forces.

Aegean region of Turkey was another location where hundreds of irregular migrants were held following operations by the Coast Guard; 1,252 of them were captured in the provinces of Canakkale, Aydin, Izmir, Mugla and Balikesir.

Majority of the migrants in this region attempt to cross into Europe by using rubber boats, which possess great dangers as scores of these boats sink due to weather conditions and engine failures.

Other irregular migrants were held in many other parts of the country varying from central Anatolia to southeastern and southwestern Turkey.

All of the irregular migrants were first referred to the nearest health facilities first, then transferred to provincial migration offices.

In addition, scores of human traffickers were arrested following the operations.

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

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.

According to the official figures, almost 180,000 irregular migrants have been held so far in 2019.

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