Turkish operation on the Iranian border stops over 1,450 migrants

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ISTANBUL (AP) – Security forces in eastern Turkey have carried out a major operation against human traffickers who bring migrants across the Iranian border, the provincial governor’s office announced on Monday.

More than 1,450 migrants have been found in abandoned buildings around Mount Erek, which towers over the city of Van, since July 10, the Van governor’s office said.

Eleven “organizers” were arrested, six of whom were arrested by court order. The statement added that 11 “barracks style” buildings had been demolished to house migrants.

The operation comes amid concerns over a possible surge in migrants from Afghanistan prior to the US withdrawal and intense fighting between the Taliban and Afghan government forces.

The governor’s office described previous operations by police and border officials assisted by aerial drones and said 27,230 migrants had been caught crossing the Iranian border so far this year.

The Turkish border with Iran has long been a popular smuggling route for people, mostly Afghans, Iranians and Pakistanis, who want to enter Turkey before traveling west to cities like Istanbul and Ankara.

Migrants usually hope to make money in Turkey by working on the black market before traveling to Europe.

Turkey, which is home to around 4 million refugees, is currently building new security measures on its eastern border. Afghans are considered to be the second largest refugee community after the Syrians.

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Follow AP’s global migration reporting at https://apnews.com/hub/migration



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