Turkey intercepted some 315,000 migrants headed to Europe in 2019: minister

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AFP PHOTO

Turkey has intercepted some 315,000 irregular migrants on their route to Europe in the first nine months of the year, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said on Wednesday, according to the pro-government Daily Sabah.

“The number will likely reach 400,000 by the end of 2019,” Soylu said. “Almost 45 percent of the migrants apprehended were Afghans.”

“If the Middle East is not safe, Paris is not safe, Berlin is not safe and other parts of the world are definitely not safe,” he added.

According to Interior Ministry figures, Turkey hosted 4.2 million refugees in 2017. The number has now reached 4.9 million, of whom 3.6 million are Syrians.

Ankara and Brussels signed an agreement in March 2016 to find a solution to the influx of refugees heading to European countries. As part of the deal, Turkey was promised a total of 6 billion euros ($6.6 billion) in financial aid.

However, the number of migrants arriving Greece has again increased in recent months, according to the Greek media.

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