A wave of undocumented migrants from Afghanistan has hit Turkey in recent months, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said on April 25.
“We have been facing in recent months a wave of migrants, especially from Afghanistan,” Soylu said, addressing immigration officials in the southern province of Adana, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
”Among the undocumented migrants in 2018, 29,899 people are of Afghan origin. The total number of undocumented Afghan migrants in 2017 was 45,259 people,” he added.
The minister said Turkey had arrested 4,641 migrant smugglers throughout 2017, while this number was 1,328 in the first four months of this year.
Turkey currently hosts 3.5 million Syrian refugees, more than any other country in the world. It has been the main route for refugees trying to cross into Europe, especially since the beginning of the civil war in Syria.
Erzurum, Ağrı, Iğdır and Van in the country’s east are the provinces that currently host the most Afghan refugees.