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

At least 2,859 irregular migrants were held across Turkey over the past week, according to data compiled by Anadolu Agency from security sources.

As many as 1,519 irregular migrants were caught in multiple operations carried out by gendarmerie forces in the northwestern Edirne province, which borders Greece and Bulgaria.

In the northwestern provinces of Yalova, Kirklareli and Tekirdag, a total of 156 irregular migrants were held by gendarmerie forces over the past week.

In the coastal provinces of Canakkale, Balikesir, Aydin, Izmir, and Mugla, coast guard and gendarmerie forces rounded up a total of 1,112 migrants trying to cross over to Europe through Greece.

Separately, border forces in the southern Hatay province caught 50 migrants reportedly entering Turkey illegally from Syria.

In other eastern provinces of Van and Kars, a total of 100 migrants were held by police and gendarmerie forces.

Additionally, some 54 irregular migrants were also held by police and gendarmerie forces in the central Nigde and Cankiri provinces.

A total of four migrants were held by police in the northern province of Bartin.

The migrants included Pakistani, Congolese, Syrian, Iraqi, Afghan, Egyptian, Bangladeshi 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.

Source: Anadolu Agency