Over 3,500 illegal migrants caught in Istanbul in last 6 days

Over 3,500 illegal migrants caught in Istanbul in last 6 days

Over 3,500 illegal migrants caught in Istanbul in last 6 days

With the intensifying efforts to combat illegal migration in Istanbul, security forces have apprehended more than 3,500 individuals in the last six days, while foreigners who live registered in the city stated that they were satisfied with the inspections, local media has reported.

Late on July 4, Istanbul police initiated inspections throughout the city, especially in districts where illegal immigrants were found to be densely populated.

The inspections and measures target individuals who have entered Türkiye illegally, worked without permission, or overstayed their visa exemption or residence period.

Since the commencement of the inspections, a total of 3,535 illegal immigrants have been apprehended.

Upon completion of their procedures at the police station, the detainees were transferred to removal centers in preparation for deportation.

According to reports from daily Milliyet, registered immigrants living in the city expressed their satisfaction with the inspections, stating that irregular migrants "create a false perception about foreigners living in the country."

Some immigrants noted that those residing in the country illegally are involved in incidents that disrupt public order, such as theft or fights, adding that such incidents also put other foreigners in accordance with all legal procedures under suspicion.

"We have been living in Türkiye for years. We also want those who stay illegally to be sent back. They get involved in fights and commit theft," said a refugee who came to Istanbul from Aleppo, Syria, eight years ago.

"We pay residency fees to the Turkish government every year. But the illegal ones live without taking any responsibility." Muhammed Raşit, a migrant who has resided in Türkiye since 2016 said.

Noting that he has been running a shop in the Fatih district for a while, Raşit stated that all the Syrian and Palestinian employees in his workplace are registered and have work permits.

"When some people who come to Türkiye through illegal ways get involved in an incident, we all become targets,” he said.

In Zeytinburnu district, where Afghan refugees predominantly live, many shop owners also stated that as police have caught a large number of illegal Afghan refugees in the past two months, the unregistered ones do not go out during the day.

Recently, Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya announced that the measures to detect and combat illegal migration will continue to intensify.

The fight against irregular migration has been identified as a top priority by the ministry, with efforts being made not only in Istanbul but also across all 81 provinces, Yerlikaya said.