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Irregular Migration in Turkey

image of Irregular Migration in Turkey

In recent years, illegal transit migration through Turkey, together with the use of Turkey’s territory as a transition post for onward migration towards the west, has become an issue of growing importance to the Turkish government. The government seeks to control and manage transit migration, often organized by criminal smuggling and trafficking international networks. This report — based on interviews with migrants, migration officials and traffickers — provides useful insights into the origins and motivations of transit migrants and their reasons for farther migration. It illustrates the workings of well-organized local and international criminal networks and discusses Turkey’s policies and efforts to manage substantial and irregular migration flows through its territory in cooperation with western European countries.

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Conclusions and recommendations

During the last two decades, Turkey has been confronted with large-scale irregular migration movements, usually from the Middle East, which use the country as a transit zone on their way to western and northern European countries. The route through Turkey serves as a natural link between the Middle East and Europe and migrants use it as a bridge to a life offering better economic and social conditions. Hence, Turkish borders are crossed daily by hundreds of irregular migrants. Well over 90,000 irregular migrants were apprehended in 2001, only a little less than in 2000, but close to double the number in 1999.

English

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