Via Hurriyet Daily News – At least 547 undocumented migrants have been caught trying to reach Europe or enter Turkey illegally across the country, security officials said on Nov. 16.
The migrants were caught in the northwestern province of Edirne, Aegean province of İzmir, Central Anatolian province of Sivas, southern province of Hatay and the eastern province of Van.
In an operation against undocumented migrants in Edirne, Turkish Coast Guard teams caught 164 people from Iran, Palestine, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Somalia, who were trying to cross into Greece and Bulgaria.
Police and gendarmerie forces caught 73 more undocumented Syrians, Pakistanis and Afghans in a separate operation in the same province.
In the western port city of İzmir, coast guard officials held 60 people, including Somalis and Syrians, who were trying to reach Greek islands.
Also in Hatay, border guard officers caught 64 Syrians trying to enter Turkey.
In Sivas and Van, gendarmerie forces held 186 undocumented Pakistani and Afghan migrants.
All the migrants caught were sent to regional immigration offices.
So far, hundreds of thousands of people have made short but perilous journeys across the Aegean to reach northern and western Europe. Nearly 2,000 refugees cross into the Greek islands on a monthly basis, according to the UNHCR.
In March 2016, Turkey and the EU signed a deal aiming to discourage irregular migration through the Aegean Sea by taking stricter measures against human traffickers and improving the conditions of some 3 million Syrian refugees in Turkey.
The article was originally published by Hurriyet Daily News