Six migrants injured in fire at İzmir repatriation center
İZMİR – Doğan News Agency
DHA PhotoSix migrants have been injured in a fire that broke out at a migrant repatriation center in Turkey’s Aegean province of İzmir.
The migrants at the center reportedly started the fire by setting beds alight in the basement floor, protesting the fact that they are not permitted to leave the center. The migrants, who are reportedly all from Afghanistan, have been held inside the center for more than three months.
Fire-fighting teams were immediately dispatched to the scene, while six migrants who were slightly injured as they fled the fire and were also affected by smoke inhalation were taken to nearby hospitals.
The repatriation center, which is located in İzmir’s Bornova district and has a 260-person capacity, hosts foreigners who have entered Turkey illegally, until they are sent back their homeland or on to a third country.
İzmir Governor Mustafa Toprak confirmed the incident, saying that the migrants’ staying periods may have been extended due to bureaucratic procedures.
“They burned blankets because they felt suffocated,” Toprak said, stressing that no one was heavily injured in the fire.
The Mediterranean and Aegean seas that surround Turkey are busy routes used by migrants from the Middle East and Africa to reach Europe.