Interior minister says Turkey to deport around 80,000 illegal migrants this year

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AFP PHOTO / Olmo Calvo

Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu announced on Tuesday that Turkey would carry out 50 percent more deportations this year than last and that some 80,000 illegal migrants would be deported.

Soylu said Turkey deported 56,000 illegal migrants last year, while the number of illegal migrants deported this year as of July 20 was 43,000

“As for this year, we will carry out around 40-50 percent more deportations, with some 80,000 people. We have to,” he said.

The government has accepted more than 3.5 million Syrian refugees into the country but has tightened its refugee policy since the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) recently lost municipal elections in some major cities.

Many say the public’s unease with Syrian refugees is one of the reasons for the AKP’s election loss in İstanbul and elsewhere.

The İstanbul Governor’s Office on Monday directed Syrians who are not registered in İstanbul to leave the city by Aug. 20 and return to the cities where they registered and gained temporary protection status.

Over the past several days, Turkish media have reported that some Syrian refugees in İstanbul are being deported even if they are registered in another city.

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