Reports have shown that a batch of about 777 illegal migrants, attempting to sneak into Europe in a caravan-style, has been intercepted by Turkish gendarmerie in a futile effort to cross the border from Turkey and reach the EU, in an operation that started two days earlier, the State’s News Agency- Anadolu has indicated.
The reports say the migrants from Somalia, Morocco, Afghanistan, Syria, Algeria and Bangladesh were caught in Edirne province, which borders Greece and Bulgaria. They were immediately detained at the local migration office, the report said. It however remained unclear, as to if and when the migrants would be expelled, the reported added.
It was noted that the majority of the people were trying to flee the civil war in Syria, as well as conflict in Afghanistan, and they often try to pass through Turkey to reach EU countries.
Under a 2016 deal struck with the EU, Ankara agreed to prevent migrants passing through its territory to Europe, in exchange for financial aid for refugees in Turkey.
Turkey has officially taken in more than 3.5 million refugees from Syria.
During a trip to Bosnia on Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Erdogan said security forces had stopped more than a million migrants from crossing the EU border between 2015 and 2017.
According to him, 99 per cent of those who tried to cross were stopped, he said.