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50 migrants die on way to Europe through Turkey in 2019

Turkish Coast Guard members rescue a woman after a boat carrying irregular migrants sank off in Ayvalik district of Balikesir, Turkey on 3 May 2019. [Turkish Coast Guard Command / Handout - Anadolu Agency]

At least 50 irregular migrants lost their lives on their way to Europe through Turkey in 2019, according to data compiled by Anadolu Agency.

Most of the deaths took place in the Turkish-Iranian border, where 32 migrants froze to death while trying to cross to Van province in eastern Turkey from Iran.

Another two migrants froze to death in the western Edirne province.

In four separate incidents at the Aegean Sea, a total of 16 irregular migrants drowned while trying to cross to Greek islands.

Turkey has been the main route for refugees trying to cross into Europe, especially since the beginning of the civil war in Syria.

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

The migrants were mostly Afghan, Pakistani, Syrian and Iraqi nationals.

READ: 70 African migrants drown off Tunisian coast 

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