Istanbul: Turkish security forces have arrested 19 illegal Afghan migrants in the country’s largest city, Istanbul. Istanbul municipal police units on Monday intercepted a van in Sultanghazi district in the European part of the city on suspicion, according to a report by the Demiroren news agency. According to media reports, the teams traced the stranded migrants inside the vehicle and informed the police forces.
These migrants have tried to move to the north-western border province of Edirne, about 240 km from Istanbul, to enter Greece. Turkey, a major transit point for asylum seekers on their way to Europe, is seeing an influx of Afghan refugees fleeing the country after its takeover by the Taliban last month. The country hosts more than 4 million refugees, including 3.6 million Syrians, within its borders, mostly in Istanbul.
It added that the caught migrants were sent to a local repatriation center for deportation procedures. Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya said on Monday that 38,251 irregular migrants have been arrested across the city since the beginning of this year.
Turkey, a major transit point for asylum seekers on their way to Europe, has recently been seeing an increased influx of Afghan refugees fleeing unrest in their homeland. The country hosts more than 4 million refugees, including 3.6 million Syrians, within its borders, mostly in Istanbul.