Turkey has returned at least 42,666 irregular migrants since the beginning of 2022 as fights against irregular migration continue across the country.
Among the 42,666 irregular migrants, 24,341 are Afghan nationals and 6,025 are Pakistani nationals, the country’s migration authority said on Tuesday.
Turkey has operated its 94th charter flight to Afghanistan to fly back irregular Afghan migrants since early 2022, the presidency for migration management said in a written statement.
With five charter flights between June 18 and 21 from the eastern province of Malatya, the country returned 1,135 Afghan nationals to the Afghan capital Kabul, the statement said, adding that the number of Afghan nationals deported in 2022 had reached 24,341.
Turkey was an important transit point for asylum seekers wishing to enter Europe to start a new life, especially for those fleeing war and persecution.
Turkey, which already hosts 4 million refugees, more than any other country in the world, is taking new security measures at its borders to humanely prevent a new influx of migrants.
Meanwhile, Turkey’s representative to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Philippe Leclerc, said about 800 Syrian refugees are returning to their country from Turkey every week, but conditions are not suitable for a large number of voluntary returnees.