2,600 unregistered migrants held in Turkey in one week
As many as 1,587 unregistered migrants were caught in multiple operations carried out by gendarmerie forces in the northwestern province of Edirne, which borders Greece and Bulgaria.
Additionally, 10 people died and 30 were injured when a vehicle carrying irregular migrants crashed in Edirne on June 26.
In the northwestern provinces of Kocaeli, Kırklareli and Tekirdağ, a total of 93 unregistered migrants were held by gendarmerie forces over the past week.
In the coastal provinces of Mersin, Çanakkale, Balıkesir, Aydın, İzmir and Muğla, coast guard and gendarmerie forces rounded up a total of 662 migrants trying to cross over to Europe through Greece illegally.
Separately, border forces in the southern Hatay province caught 202 migrants reportedly entering Turkey illegally from Syria.
In the eastern province of Van, which borders Iran, a total of 64 migrants were held by gendarmerie and border forces.
Some 41 irregular migrants were also held by police in the central Eskişehir and Çankırı provinces.
Security forces also arrested 25 people for alleged human smuggling.
The migrants included Pakistani, Moroccan, Syrian, Iraqi, Afghan, Egyptian, and Bangladeshi 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.