More than 38,250 irregular migrants held in Istanbul since start of 2021
More than 38,250 irregular migrants held in the Turkish metropolis Istanbul as of Jan. 1 have been handed to the local migration office, authorities said on Aug. 17.
The Istanbul Governor's Office said in a statement that 453 irregular migrants, including 159 Afghans, were held in Istanbul on Monday.
Irregular migrants were handed to the local migration office for deportation procedures, it added.
Turkey has been a key transit point for asylum seekers who want to cross into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution.
Turkey, which already hosts 4 million refugees - more than any country in the world - is taking new security measures within and on borders to prevent a fresh influx of migrants.
Separately, a total of 55 irregular migrants were held in the Mentele district of the western Muğla province.
Security forces nabbed the irregular migrants, including Iraqi and Syrian nationals, who were preparing to go abroad illegally.
Also, seven irregular migrants were caught in the northwestern Kocaeli province, the local police department said in a statement.
Security forces rescued at least 12 irregular migrants in Turkey's northwestern province of Çanakkale.
Turkey's Coast Guard Command detected the presence of a group of irregular migrants on a rubber boat off the coast of Çanakkale's Ayvacık district.
The irregular migrants, who had been pushed back to Turkish territorial waters by Greek elements, were rescued and taken ashore.
After routine procedures, the migrants were transferred to the local immigration office.
Turkey and human rights groups have repeatedly condemned Greece's illegal practice, saying it violates humanitarian values and international law by endangering the lives of vulnerable migrants, including women and children.