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Turkey: more than 38,000 irregular migrants held in sea in 2019

Turkish Coast Guards can be seen rescuing migrants [File photo]
Turkish Coast Guards can be seen rescuing migrants [File photo]

The Turkish Coast Guard arrested 38,467 irregular migrants and detained 56 human smugglers in the country’s waters in 2019.

In 2019, a total of 1,115 cases of irregular migration took place in Turkey’s waters, according to information obtained by an Anadolu Agency correspondent.

The number of irregular migrants recorded in the first 9 months of 2019 increased more than two-fold compared to the same period last year.

Irregular migration is the highest in September with 324 cases, followed by August and July.

READ: Migrant, refugee death toll in Mediterranean tops 1,000 for 6th year

In the first 9 months of 2019, some 35 irregular migrants drowned in sea.

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.

The illegal migration trend gained momentum with the unrest in the Middle East, especially since the beginning of the Syrian civil war in 2011.

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