Over 30 undocumented migrants held by police in Turkey’s Kırklareli
At least 34 undocumented migrants and refugees were held in the northwestern province of Kırklareli on Jan. 1 by the police, according to a security official, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.
The detentions were made during a gendarmerie operation after they were tipped off that two groups of people were attempting to reach Europe illegally from Turkey in the Kofcaz and Demirkoy districts of the province, the official reportedly said.
Iraqis, Afghans and Syrians were later taken to the provincial migration authority, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media.
Turkey has been a main route for refugees trying to cross into Europe since a civil war in Syria broke out in 2011.
In recent years, hundreds of thousands of people have made the short but perilous journey across the Aegean to reach Northern and Western Europe.
Many refugees have died at sea when boats carrying them sank.
The Turkish Coast Guard has rescued thousands.
In March 2016, Turkey and the EU signed a deal aiming to discourage irregular migration through the Aegean Sea by enacting stricter measures against human traffickers and improving the living conditions of the three million Syrian refugees in Turkey.
Since then, the number of refugees detained for crossing the Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece fell by 85 percent, according to the Turkish Coast Guard.
Statistics show that the total number of Syrian migrants registered with biometric IDs reached 3,208,131 as of Sept. 28 in Turkey.
According to statistics, Istanbul was the most popular destination, with 511,308 Syrians recorded there. The southeastern border province of Şanlıurfa came second with 445,584.