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    A picture taken on March 16, 2017 shows policemen standing guard near migrants at the Moria migrant camp on the island of Lesbos, almost a year after an EU-Turkey deal

    Turkey Arrests Over 1,500 Irregular Migrants in Past Week - Reports

    © AFP 2019 / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Turkish security forces have apprehended at least 1,546 irregular migrants across the country as they attempted to cross into Europe, the Anadolu news reported, citing security sources.

    The apprehended migrants were coming from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Central Africa, Libya and other countries, the Anadolu news agency reported.

    They were taken either to a hospital or provincial migration offices, according to the agency.

    Turkey hosts approximately 3.7 million migrants and refugees, according to the International Organisation for Migration. Although 20 tent camps and container towns with essential infrastructures, such as schools and medical facilities, have been established to accommodate refugees over the past several years, most of the migrants prefer not to settle in them and instead move on to other parts of the country.

    Migrants also deliberately avoid contacts with law and immigration enforcement agencies in Turkey since the country only serves as a gateway to Europe for many of them.

    In March 2016, the European Union and Turkey unveiled a joint initiative to target irregular migration from Turkey to the EU member states and smuggling.

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