Turkey to establish department for refugee protection

Turkey will establish department to combat human trafficking with aim of refugee protection

Photo by: AA (Archive)
Photo by: AA (Archive)

Since the start of 2016 Turkish Coast Guards have rescued about 5,541 refugees in the Aegean Sea.

Updated Feb 3, 2016

Turkish officials said that Turkey will establish a department within the body of the security general directorate to combat human trafficking with the aim of securing refugee protection.

The officials said that the work on the new regulation has been completed to a great extent and will be soon sent to the cabinet to be confirmed.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said on Monday that Turkey is preparing to consider human trafficking as a terror crime to prevent illegal migration and stop deaths caused by human traffickers.

Kurtulmus also said that a parliamentary bill on maintaining border security and preventing human trafficking will be presented to the parliament very soon.

Once the draft law is enacted, human trafficking criminals will be given heavy punishments.

Refugees continue to set out on deadly journeys

Despite the great number of casualties resulted from risky sea voyages, refugees continue to risk their lives by going on dangerous journeys from Turkey’s coasts to Europe.

Turkey’s Aegean provinces - Canakkale, Balikesir, Izmir, Mugla and Aydin - are prime spots for refugees leaving Turkey for the EU, with many Greek islands lying within sight of Turkey’s coast.

Over the past year, hundreds of thousands have made short, but perilous journeys in a bid to reach northern and western Europe in search for a better life.

The recent deaths in the Aegean Sea boosted crossing attempts of refugees by land.

Turkish police and gendarmerie teams captured around 8,000 refugees who were illegally trying to cross into Europe through Turkey’s western provinces, along the Edirne-Antalya coastline within January.

Around 2,000 refugees were captured in Edirne and Kirklareli, while crossing the border into Greece and Bulgaria while almost 5,000 refugees were caught in Canakkale and Balikesir, before sailing to the Greek Island of Lesbos.

The number of refugees rescued in the Aegean Sea showed a 700 percent increase compared to the same month of the previous year as Turkish Coast Guards rescued 5,541 refugees in the Aegean Sea in January 2016 and 688 refugees in January 2015.

TRTWorld, AA