Turkey nabs nearly 1,800 irregular migrants last week
As many as 1,233 migrants were held in multiple operations carried out by gendarmerie forces in the northwestern Edirne, Kırklareli and Tekirdağ provinces, bordering Greece and Bulgaria.
According to local security forces in Edirne, Greece has recently stepped up efforts to send irregular migrants to Turkey in violation of the Geneva Conventions, European Convention on Human Rights and the U.N. Convention Against Torture.
In the coastal provinces of Çanakkale, Balıkesir, Aydın, and İzmir the Turkish Coast Guard and gendarmerie forces rounded up a total of 528 migrants as they were trying to cross to Europe through Greece.
Moreover, some 15 migrants were also held by police in the central province of Niğde, while in the Black Sea province of Amasya, a total of 21 migrants were held over the last week.
The migrants included Pakistani, Congolese, Syrian, Iraqi, Afghan, Tunisian, Kuwaiti, Moroccan, Turkmen, Egyptian, Bangladeshi, Indian, Algerian, Somali, Ghanaian, Yemeni, Palestinian, Eritrean, and Nigerian nationals.
All of the migrants were either taken to hospitals for medical care or transferred to provincial migration offices.
In 2019, more than 454,500 irregular migrants were held in Turkey, according to the Interior Ministry.
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.