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33 Afghan, Pakistan nationals stopped while illegally entering Turkey

Afghan, Pakistani and Bangladeshi irregular migrants, who claimed they were left at the Turkey-Iran border after beaten by Iranian soldiers, in Bitlis, Turkey on July 27, 2021 [Şener Toktaş/Anadolu Agency]
Afghan, Pakistani and Bangladeshi irregular migrants, who claimed they were left at the Turkey-Iran border after beaten by Iranian soldiers, in Bitlis, Turkey on July 27, 2021 [Şener Toktaş/Anadolu Agency]

Some 33 Afghan and Pakistani nationals have been held in different parts of Turkey, Anadolu reported.

Border security teams in the Siverek district of the southeastern Sanliurfa province learned that some foreign nationals were hiding in cornfields next to the Siverek-Diyarbakir highway. They were fined 133,000 lira (over $15,000) in total, and referred to a local repatriation centre, the news agency said.

In Turkey, concerns over a potential new influx of migrants into Turkey from Afghanistan, via Iran, have grown in recent weeks as violence between the Afghan government and the Taliban surged ahead of the US and NATO forces' withdrawal.

During the first week of August, Turkey criticised a US programme which offers potential resettlement to Afghans who may be targeted by the Taliban due to their affiliation to America, saying the move would cause a "great migration crisis" in the region.

Last week, Turkish security forces detained nearly 1,500 irregular migrants, most of them Afghans, near the southeastern border with Iran, officials said, amid rising violence in Afghanistan.

Last month, the foreign ministers of Turkey, Afghanistan, and Iran discussed cooperation on security, energy, and migration but Turkish diplomatic sources say there is no specific mechanism between Ankara and Tehran to address migration from Afghanistan.

Turkey already hosts more than four million refugees, the vast majority from Syria, and is the world's leading refugee host.

OPINION: What awaits the EU-Turkey agreement after this new influx of Afghan refugees?

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AfghanistanAsia & AmericasEurope & RussiaIranMiddle EastNewsPakistanTurkeyUS
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