Turkey: Over 2,500 irregular migrants held last week

More than 2,500 irregular migrants were held across Turkey over the past week, according to data compiled by Anadolu Agency from security sources.

Turkish gendarmerie forces held some 1,350 of the migrants in the northwestern province of Edirne, which borders Greece and Bulgaria.

In the western cities of Mugla, Canakkale, Izmir, Aydin and Balikesir, the Turkish Coast Guard and gendarmerie forces rounded up more than 640 migrants.

In Turkey's eastern province of Gaziantep, 32 irregular migrants were held by the gendarmerie. They included nationals of Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Morocco, Nepal, Algeria and Bangladesh.

In the eastern province of Batman, a total of 43 irregular migrants were held by Turkish police. In eastern Siirt province, 15 irregular migrants were rounded up by the police, the Siirt governorship said in a statement.

In northwestern Tekirdag and Kirklareli provinces, 68 irregular migrants were held by the police, while in eastern Van province, 63 irregular migrants were held.

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

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.

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

Source: Anadolu Agency