Turkey: 6,000 irregular migrants detained across the country in one week

More than 6,000 irregular migrants, including Iraqi nationals, were detained across Turkey over the course of one week in September. 

Almost 4,000 of these undocumented migrants were found in coastal regions by Turkish authorities as they were trying to get to Greece. Another almost 2,000 irregular migrants were arrested during multiple operations in northern regions bordering Greece and Bulgaria. At least 300 undocumented migrants were intercepted while entering Turkey over the border from Syria. 

The detained migrants come from many different countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Nigeria, Eritrea and Yemen. After being intercepted by the police, they were either taken for medical treatment or transferred to provincial migration offices. 

Turkey is one of the main transit countries for migrants travelling irregularly to Europe. However, under a deal between the EU and Turkey signed in 2016, migrants arriving in Greece can be sent back to Turkey if they do not apply for asylum or if their claim is rejected.

The number of migrant arrests is on the rise in Turkey. The country’s Interior Ministry reported that 268,000 irregular migrants were held in 2018. A similar figure has already been intercepted by security forces between 1 January and 12 September 2019 of this year, according to the Migration Management Directorate General in Turkey.

TMP 07/10/2019

Photo credit: Photo Port

Photo caption: Turkish security forces Coast guard and maritime police August 30, 2019 izmir / Turkey August 30 Victory Day celebration