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Turkey blocked entry of 1.25m illegal immigrants in 3 years

Syrian and Iraqi refugees arrive from Turkey to Skala Sykamias, Lesbos island, Greece on 30 October 2015. Spanish volunteers (life rescue team - with yellow-red clothes) from "Proactiva open arms" help the refugees [Ggia / Wikipedia]
Syrian and Iraqi refugees arrive from Turkey to Skala Sykamias, Lesbos island, Greece on 30 October 2015 [Ggia / Wikipedia]

Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu announced on Friday that his country had blocked the entry of 1.25 million illegal immigrants over the past three years, Anadolu Agency reported.

Speaking to Al Jazeera Mubasher, Soylu shared that Ankara had caught 400,000 Afghans since 2016, noting that 151,000 were returned to their country by air.

He stated that 80,000 received international protection and stayed in Turkey, another 20,000 obtained a residency permit, while the rest left the country illegally.

Soylu assured the Turks that there would not be a new immigration wave from Afghanistan towards Turkey, noting that his country is closely following up on illegal immigration and is working hard to confront it.

According to Anadolu Agency, the minister confirmed that about eight million refugees reside in the lands around Turkey, including 3.8 million in Idlib, 600,000 in Afrin and 1.2 million in the area of the Euphrates Shield in the north of Syria.

He stressed that his country has adequate resources to control illegal immigration along its borders, adding that 175 kilometres of the border wall between Turkey and Iran have been completed.

Opinion: Turkish ultranationalists should know that Assad is their enemy, not Syrian refugees

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