Turkish authorities have prevented 159,029 migrants from illegally crossing into Europe from the Turkish province of Edirne, which has borders with Greece and Bulgaria, over the past four years, the artıgerçek news website reported on Friday.
Every year, many migrants try to make their way to Europe by either sea or land from Edirne.
According to data released by the immigration authority in Edirne, 21,953 migrants were prevented from crossing into Europe in Edirne in 2015, while this figure was 29,670 in 2016 and 47,731 in 2017.
In 2018, 59,675 migrants were prevented from crossing into Europe as of October, while this figure is expected to exceed 70,000 by the end of the year.
The total number of migrants who were prevented from crossing into Europe by the Turkish security forces across Turkey has been reported as 222,920. Most of these migrants were from Pakistan, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Turkey became one of the main launch points for more than a million migrants taking the sea route to EU territory in 2015, many fleeing conflict and poverty in the Middle East and Africa.
The influx of migrants was drastically curtailed by a 2016 accord between Ankara and the EU, after hundreds died crossing to Greek islands a few miles off the Turkish shore.