Turkey holds over 3,500 irregular migrants in past week

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At least 3,547 irregular migrants were held across Turkey over the past week, according to data from security sources, compiled by Anadolu Agency.

Turkish gendarmerie forces held 1,601 of the migrants in the northwestern province of Edirne which borders Greece and Bulgaria.

According to local sources in Edirne, Greece has stepped up efforts to send irregular migrants to Turkey in violation of the Geneva Conventions, the European Convention on Human Rights and the U.N. Convention Against Torture.

In the coastal cities of MuğlaÇanakkale, İzmir, Balıkesir, Mersin, and Aydın, the Turkish Coast Guard and gendarmerie forces held over 1,500 migrants.

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.

Separately, in the northwestern provinces of Kırklareli and Tekirdağ, a total of 235 migrants were held by gendarmerie forces.

Also, a total of 68 irregular migrants were held in the capital Ankara.

In eastern Malatya and Erzincan provinces, the police detained 30 irregular migrants.

Additionally, 69 migrants were held in southeastern Diyarbakır province.

The migrants included Pakistani, Congolese, SyrianIraqi, Iranian, Afghan, Moroccan, Egyptian, Bangladeshi, Somalian, Yemeni, Palestinian, Malian, Gabonese, Senegalese, Burundian, Cameroonian, Angolan, Libyan, Lebanese South African nationals.

All of the migrants held during the week were either taken to hospitals for treatment or transferred to provincial migration offices.

According to Turkey’s interior ministry, some 268,000 irregular migrants were held in the country, in 2018.

In 2018, 268,000 irregular migrants were held in Turkey, according to the Interior Ministry.

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