59,000 mi­grants caught in NW Turkey in 2018

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - National -

TURKISH se­cu­rity forces caught over 59,675 ir­reg­u­lar mi­grants in the north­west­ern prov­ince of Edirne on the bor­der with Greece and Bul­garia. The 10-month fig­ure is ex­pected to ex­ceed 70,000 by year-end. Ev­ery year, hun­dreds of thou­sands of mi­grants flee from civil con­flict or eco­nomic hard­ship in their home coun­tries in hope of reach­ing Europe. While some are able to make the per­ilous jour­ney over land or sea via hu­man smug­glers, many are held by se­cu­rity forces be­fore cross­ing the bor­der to Europe. Edirne is a prime mi­grant route, with tens of thou­sands caught ev­ery year. Out of over 222,000 to­tal mi­grants held in Turkey in the first 10 months of 2018, a grow­ing pro­por­tion of mi­grants are be­ing held in the city.

Au­thor­i­ties caught 21,953 mi­grants in 2015, with fig­ures ris­ing to 29,670 in 2016 and 47,731 last year. The data by Turkey’s Direc­torate Gen­eral of Migration Man­age­ment re­vealed that most of the mi­grants come from Pak­istan, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. The num­bers in­crease in late summer and au­tumn be­fore drop­ping in the win­ter months, ac­cord­ing to the data. The mi­grants are taken to pro­vin­cial migration of­fices where they are iden­ti­fied and of­fi­cially reg­is­tered. They are pro­vided with ac­com­mo­da­tion, in­clud­ing three daily meals, un­til they are ready to vol­un­tar­ily re­turn to their home coun­tries. The travel ar­range­ments are made by the migration of­fice.

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