Turkish authorities have deported a total of 6,846 undocumented Afghan migrants back to Kabul in recent weeks, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
Turkish Interior Ministry’s General Directorate of Migration Management said that the migrants were deported from the eastern provinces of Erzurum, Ağrı, and the western province of İzmir on nine charter flights, as well as additional scheduled flights following the completion of deportation procedures.
Anadolu reported the undocumented migrants were reported to have entered Turkey through Iran via illegal means and were mostly captured in Erzurum.
More migrants will be deported to Afghanistan through an additional four charter flights in the next few days, the Turkish Ministry of Interior said.
Turkey is a common transit country for migrants trying to reach Europe however, it accelerated the deportation process on April 8, following reports that nearly 20,000 undocumented Afghan migrants have arrived in the country over the past three months, Anadolu reported.
The first group of Afghan migrants, consisting of more than 200 people, left Erzurum on April 8 on a charter flight bound for Kabul, with reports following that a total of 3,000 were planned to be deported from Erzurum alone.
The Interior Ministry said in a statement: “Following the completion of deportation procedures for illegal migrants in our other provinces, deportations will speed up and continue in the coming days.”
During an official visit to Kabul on April 8, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said the Interior Ministry was conducting a productive plan to stop the inflow of illegal Afghan migrants, the report said.