Turkish authorities intercepted almost 4,000 migrants in span of one week
During a week-long period in early November, Turkish security forces arrested at least 3,893 irregular migrants across the country. The Turkish Coastguard and military forces have boosted their operations in recent months in an attempt to block irregular migrants from entering Greece and Bulgaria.
Of the arrested migrants, 2,489 were stopped in the northwestern province of Edirne. The province shares a border with Greece and Bulgaria, making it a popular route for irregular migrants attempting to reach Europe. Between January and September 2019, more than 90,000 irregular migrants which were picked up in Erdine alone.
More than 1,000 migrants were also intercepted in Turkish coastal cities as well as 273 migrants in other parts of the country.
All migrants held during the week were treated in hospitals or relocated to nearby migration centres. The arrested migrants were made up of nationals from over 20 countries, including Afghans and Iraqis.
Nearly 373,500 irregular migrants have been apprehended in Turkey this year to date, compared to 268,000 in the whole of 2018, according to Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu. Turkey has also increased deportations: Soylu stated that almost 172,000 migrants have been sent back to their countries over the last three years.
Photo credit: Fishman64 / Shutterstock
Photo caption: The refugees migrate to Europe.