Refugees arrive in Turkey along a route to the west, in Erzurum. Credit: EPA/ERDEM SAHIN
Refugees arrive in Turkey along a route to the west, in Erzurum. Credit: EPA/ERDEM SAHIN

The Turkish interior ministry said they apprehended around 268,000 undocumented migrants in 2018. The ministry also released estimates for how many Syrian refugees have returned home: roughly 310,000. But more than ten times as many Syrians remain in the country.

A reported 268,003 migrants were apprehended in Turkey in 2018 because they did not have valid documents. Some lacked the proper permits to stay in Turkey, others were caught attempting to leave the country without a proper visa, mainly to travel to the European Union, Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said during a speech in Ankara on Monday. Over the course of the first five weeks of this year, a total of 16,523 undocumented migrants were apprehended, Soylu added. 


Since Turkey signed an agreement with the EU in March 2016, the number of people travelling without regular documents from Turkey to the EU - mainly to the Greek islands - has declined sharply. 

Over 310,000 refugees have traveled back to Syria 

Interior minister Soylu also said that an estimated 311,968 Syrian refugees have returned to their country from Turkey since 2016. The minister said that over 3.6 million Syrians are still registered in Turkey with temporary "international protection status."
 

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