Turkey a destination for migrants

Turkey a destination for migrants

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey remains a major transit route for illegal immigrants bound for the West, but it is increasingly also becoming a target country, according to a study on illegal immigration conducted by a Police Academy research center.

Nationals of Afghanistan account for the majority of those seeking to reach Turkey as their final destination, according to the report by the Research Centre on International Terrorism and Trans-Border Crimes.

It estimated that the human trafficking sector in Turkey made at least $300 million in 2011. The immigrants are kept mostly in Istanbul and İzmir, and their top target countries are Greece, Italy, Germany, France, Canada, Switzerland, Austria and Britain, the report said.

According to the profile the study drew, 88 percent of illegal immigrants who reach Turkey are men working mostly in manual construction jobs. Their average age is 26, while one fourth of them are illiterate and 40 percent are primary school graduates.

The human traffickers in Turkey, on the other hand, are mostly married men with little education, aged between 30 and 40.

The search for better economic conditions is the overwhelming motive of illegal immigrants, with only 2.7 percent leaving their countries because of political reasons and 5.4 percent because of war.

The study was based on interviews with 86 illegal immigrants, 54 human traffickers and 75 experts, as well as data on 1,334 illegal immigrants and 106 traffickers.