Turkey strengthening coastguard
Baku, Azerbaijan, March 1
By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:
Turkey is strengthening coastguard to prevent Syrian refugees from entering Europe through its territory, the Turkish news agency IHA reported March 1.
In particular, the Turkish coastguard staff will be increased from 5,700 to 17,000 people, according to the agency.
Turkish Interior Minister Efkan Ala said Feb. 2 that a new structure combating illegal migration will be established under the Turkish interior ministry.
He said that the interior ministry will appeal to Turkey's Cabinet of Ministers for approval of the new structure.
Turkey also intends to toughen penalty for illegal migration, he said.
At present, over 2 million Syrian refugees are in Turkey. The Syrian refugee camps in the country accommodate about 300,000 people. The rest of them are spread throughout the provinces and cities of Turkey. In Istanbul alone, there are currently 40,000 refugees from Syria.
Turkey has spent over $10 billion to upkeep Syrian refugees.
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