Nearly 160,000 irregular migrants captured this year
Security forces have captured nearly 160,000 irregular migrants in Turkey since the start of the year, according to data from the country’s Directorate General of Migration Management.
In 2019, the number of irregular migrants apprehended hit an all-time high of 455,000 and declined to a little more than 122,000 in the following year.
Data show that between January to late December this year, most of the captured irregular migrants were Afghan nationals at around 68,000, while Syrians came second at 23,000. In 2019, over 200,000 Afghan and 55,000 Syrian irregular migrants were apprehended inside the country.
Since the start of the year, 16,000 Pakistani and more than 5,000 Somali irregular migrants were captured by security forces. Also, 3,800 people from Iraq, 3,600 Iranians and 3,200 Palestinians entered the country illegally, according to the Directorate of Migration Management.
Turkey is a major transit road for irregular migrants who flee poverty and conflicts in their countries, seeking to reach Europe. However, hundreds of migrants have perished in their perilous attempt to go to Europe.
The Turkish Coast Guard said this week that the loss of lives has increased in the migration route, which has become more dangerous as irregular migrants have recently turned their courses directly to Italy due to the push back strategy and the pressure policy applied by Greek security forces.
Turkey hosts more refugees in the world than any other nation. More than 3.7 million Syrians live in the
country under temporary protections. This figure was 1.5 million in 2014 and has increased gradually over the years.
Between 2014 and 2021, a total of 18,000 Syrians resettled in third countries and nearly 32,000 Syrian refugees left the country within the scope of the one-to-one policy, showed the data from the Directorate of Migration Management.