Over 3,000 irregular migrants held in Turkey
More than 3,000 irregular migrants were held across Turkey over the past week, according to data compiled by Anadolu Agency from security sources.
Turkish gendarmerie forces held some 1,600 of the migrants in the northwestern province of Edirne, which borders Greece and Bulgaria.
According to local sources in Edirne, Greece has stepped up efforts to send irregular migrants to Turkey in violation of the Geneva Conventions, European Convention on Human Rights and the UN Convention Against Torture.
In the western cities of Muğla, Çanakkale, İzmir, Aydın and Balıkesir, the Turkish Coast Guard and gendarmerie forces rounded up more than 1,000 migrants.
Turkey has been a key transit point for irregular migrants aiming to cross to Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution.
In the capital city Ankara, 38 irregular migrants were held by the police.
Separately, in the northwestern provinces of Kırklareli and Tekirdağ, some 360 migrants were held by gendarmerie forces.
Additionally, 17 migrants were held in eastern Bitlis province.
Among the migrants were nationals of Syria, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Palestine, Morocco, Egypt, Libya, Somalia, Senegal, South Africa, Congo, Gambia, Sudan, Algeria, Togo, Mali, Central Africa, Angola and Sri Lanka.
All of the migrants were either taken to hospitals for medical treatment or transferred to provincial migration offices.
In 2018, 268,000 irregular migrants were held in Turkey, according to the Interior Ministry.