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Over 600 Migrants Trying to Illegally Enter EU Detained in Turkey in 7 Days

© AP Photo / Petros GiannakourisIn this Sunday, March 20, 2016 file photo, volunteers help migrants and refugees on a dingy as they arrive at the shore of the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos, after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey.
In this Sunday, March 20, 2016 file photo, volunteers help migrants and refugees on a dingy as they arrive at the shore of the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos, after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey. - Sputnik International
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Turkey's security forces have detained 645 migrants attempting to illegally cross the Turkish border in an attempt to enter the European Union over the past week, local media reported Monday.

Ukrainian border guards patrol on July 2, 2015 along the barbed wire fence on the Senkivka border post, around 200 kilometres (125 miles) north of the Ukrainian capital Kiev. - Sputnik International
Four Migrants Trying to Enter EU Detained at Ukrainian-Hungarian Border
MOSCOW (Sputnik) Izmir’s regional gendarmerie command carried out 10 raids aimed at blocking refugees from crossing the EU border by sea between July 24 and 31, Anadolu news agency reported, citing sources in the security forces.

The majority of those detained (over 500) originated from Syria, while the rest were citizens of Afghanistan, Somalia, Congo, Pakistan and Iraq.

As a result of the operations, the Turkish police also managed to seize a number of vehicles and inflatable boats the refugees planned on using to cross the Turkey-Greece border.

On March 18, 2016 Ankara and Brussels signed a refugee agreement, which provided a set of measures to tackle the massive inflow of asylum seekers to EU member states from conflict-torn Middle East countries. The deal specifically stipulated that Turkey take measures to stop migrants from accessing European countries by sea, while Brussels allocates 3 billion euros ($3.5 billion) in financial aid to Ankara to help cope with the Syrian refugees currently residing in Turkey.

On July 25, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that due to the efforts of Turkish officials, the number of migrants who illegally crossed the maritime border between Turkey and Greece had decreased by 99 percent.

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