Turkey sends 227 migrants back to Afghanistan

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Turkish authorities sent back 227 Afghan nationals who illegally entered the country, officials said Sunday.

The government’s efforts to combat irregular migration are ongoing, with irregular migrants held in repatriation camps for a short period before being returned to their home country.

According to the local migration office, the plane carrying the migrants took off from the eastern province of Malatya and will land in the Afghan capital Kabul.

Since the resumption of the chartered flights from Malatya Airport, at least 681 irregular migrants have been sent to Afghanistan.

This year, a debate emerged as Turkey deals with an influx of migrants from more conflict zones, including Afghanistan, Ukraine and other countries, in addition to the society’s economic problems, which some sections place the burden for on migrants’ shoulders.

Most recently, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said that the Ramadan Bayram visits to Syria would not be allowed during the upcoming holiday.

Soylu said some 500,000 Syrians have returned to their homes after areas of the country were liberated by the Turkish military. Turkey also prevented the illegal entry of 2.5 million irregular migrants and repatriated 330,000 irregular migrants in line with international agreements and rules. He added that around 700,000 irregular migrants went to European countries from Turkey in the past five years.

Turkey has been a key transit point for asylum seekers aiming to cross to Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution.

The country already hosts 4 million refugees, more than any other country in the world, and is taking new security measures on its borders to humanely prevent a fresh influx of migrants.


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