Eight irregular migrants walk some 300 km to reach Istanbul
Police in the western province of Bursa have detained eight irregular migrants from Pakistan, who set out on a long journey from the northwestern province of Çanakkale to reach Istanbul.
The migrants were stopped and detained after having travelled some 275 kilometers from Çanakkale and Bursa.
They had entered Turkey “illegally” to go Europe via Çanakkale. However, the migrants were caught there and put under a 14-quarantine. When they were released, they could not find any transport to travel to Istanbul because of restrictions on mobility between the cities.
The migrants eventually decided to go to Istanbul on foot. They first walked to Balıkesir and stayed there for a couple of days and hit the road again.
After a two-day journey, they were stopped at a police checkpoint near the Bursa city center.
Security forces detained the irregular migrants and sent them to the provincial migration office.
If they had not been apprehended in Bursa, the eight migrants would have to travel for another 150 kilometers on foot to Istanbul, which is home to a large refugee population, mostly Syrians but also from other nationalities.
Turkey hosts nearly 5 million refugees who have fled war in their home countries.
In November, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu informed that Turkey sent back some 14,000 irregular refugees from Pakistan back to their country over the past three years. The total number of irregular migrants that were deported stood at around 172,000 over the same period.