Jul 29 2018

Turkey’s interception of migrants trying to reach Europe increases 60 pct - AA

The number of migrants prevented from trying to reach Europe from Turkey using illegal routes has increased by 60 percent this year, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

The agency noted that 14,470 migrants were held by Turkey in the first seven months of this year, especially in the Aegean Sea, as well as in Turkey’s southern Mediterranean Sea and the northern Black Sea, as compared to  9,152 migrants for the same period in during the same period in 2017.

Most migrants prefer to use the illegal routes in Aegean Sea to cross into Europe as a number of Greek islands are located close to Turkish coasts with a total of 13,336 irregular migrants using the Aegean Sea to cross into Greece thus far in 2018.

Turkey intercepted 1,640 migrants in January, 1,363 in February, 1,849 in March, 2,534 in April, 3,398 in May, 1,925 in June, and 1761 in first 29 days of July, Anadolu agency reported.

The EU and Turkey reached an agreement in March 2016 to stop irregular migration through the Aegean Sea after around 1 million migrants and refugees entered the EU by boat from Turkey to Greece between 2015-2016. 

Turkey, which currently hosts around 3.5 million refugees from Syria, and has tightened restrictions along its southern border to stem the flow of migrants after allowing many in earlier in the ongoing Syrian civil war.