16,000+ migrants held in western Turkey in 2019

More than 16,000 irregular migrants trying to get to Europe from western Turkey were held in 2019, according to data compiled by Anadolu Agency from security sources.

During the operations in Turkey's western Mugla province, overall 16,218 irregular migrants were held.

Security forces conducted successful operations to hold irregular migrants who have been trying to pass the Aegean Sea to reach Greece.

Irregular migrants generally face the risk of being capsized with dinghies while trying to reach the Kos and Symi islands of Greece.

Some irregular migrants fell into the hands of human smugglers or lost their lives to traffic incidents, freezing to death, or drowning at sea.

At least 25 irregular migrants lost their lives offshore of Mugla.

During the operations, 447 human traffickers were detained and over 50 vessels and hundreds of dinghies used by smugglers in the illegal passage were confiscated.

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.

The migrants were nationals of Syria, Myanmar, Somalia, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Palestine and Iraq.

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

Source: Anadolu Agency