Turkish army blocks nearly 900 illegal migrants from Syria in one week

Photo: Turkish army blocks nearly 900 illegal migrants from Syria in one week / Arabic region

The Turkish General Staff has announced that 869 people who tried to illegally cross from Syria into Turkey were captured in the period between Dec. 6 and 12 Hurriyet Daily News reported.

The announcement posted on the official website of the General Staff on Dec. 13 noted that all the people had been intercepted by the Land Forces Command. The General Staff, however, did not provide any additional information as to why the people were particularly labeled as illegal migrants, rather than as people seeking refuge in Turkey like hundreds of thousands of other Syrians.

The list of items seized along with the people, however, indicated that they were smugglers.

The list included more than 4,000 Kalashnikov-type rifles and 58 kilograms of drugs, in addition to pack animals, tobacco, electronic devices and alcoholic beverages.

According to figures provided by the Turkish Foreign Ministry; as of Nov. 13, the number of Syrians residing in 21 temporary sheltering centers across 10 provinces was 202,445.

Some 400,000 Syrians have entered the country thanks to a visa-free regime and have been living in Turkey, outside of the camps, the ministry also said last month.

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