Over 50 undocumented Syrian migrants caught in Turkey’s Hatay
The migrants, all Syrians, were caught as they were attempting to illegally cross into Turkey, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.
On Jan. 16, the Turkish Coast Guard rescued more than 45 undocumented migrants off the Menderes district of the İzmir province when an inflatable boat carrying them was found at risk of sinking in the Aegean Sea.
Among the 49 migrants were nationals of Syria, Angola, Mali, Senegal, South Africa and Yemen.
Turkey has been a main route for undocumented migrants and refugees trying to cross into Europe, especially since the beginning of the Syrian civil war.
In March 2016, Turkey and the EU signed a deal aiming to discourage irregular migration through the Aegean Sea by enacting stricter measures against human traffickers and improving the living conditions of the three million Syrian refugees in Turkey.
Since then, the number of refugees caught crossing the Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece has fallen significantly, according to the authorities.