7,000 undocumented migrants captured by authorities in Turkey’s Erzurum in first 75 days of 2018
The figure indicates a sharp increase compared with 2017, when the figure for the whole year was 5,000,
The Erzurum Migration Management General Directorate stated that many foreign nationals had entered Turkey via the border with Iran due to a variety of problems in their own countries, hoping to travel on to European countries.
The migrants are often abandoned on the side of roads in remote cities of eastern Anatolia by migrant smugglers and then picked up by security forces.
The migrants there first get taken to a repatriation center in Erzurum’s Aşkale district and are deported.
However, Erzurum Governor Seyfettin Azizoğlu told state-run Anadolu Agency that the increased number of undocumented migrants was straining the capacity of the authorities.
Azizoğlu said there has been a significant increase in the number of undocumented migrants being brought to the Aşkale repatriation center in 2018, “well above the manageable number.”
The issue of peoples’ smuggling needs to be treated as a security problem of the region and of Turkey, and measures should be taken in line with that reality, he added.