Turkey nabs almost 3,250 irregular migrants last week

Nearly 3,250 irregular migrants were held across Turkey over the past week, according to data compiled by Anadolu Agency from security sources.

Turkish security forces held some 1,300 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 UN Convention Against Torture.

In Kirklareli and Tekirdag, also northwestern provinces, more than 180 migrants were held by security forces.

In Mugla, Canakkale, Izmir, Balikesir and Aydin on Turkey's western coast, the Turkish Coast Guard and gendarmerie forces rounded up almost 1,600 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.

Security forces also arrested some 140 irregular migrants in eastern and southern parts of Turkey, including Kilis and Hatay provinces bordering civil war-torn Syria.

Among migrants were nationals of Syria, Iraq, Iran, Morocco, Egypt, Yemen, Libya, Palestine, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Somali, Mali, Angola, South Africa, Congo and Lebanon.

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

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

Almost 337,000 irregular migrants have been held in 2019 so far, said Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu.

Source: Anadolu Agency