Turkey to deport 12,474 illegal migrants caught in Istanbul

Turkish authorities said on Thursday that 12,474 illegal migrants have been caught in Istanbul in operations launched since July 12 and sent to repatriation centers for deportation.

In a written statement, the Istanbul governor’s office noted that the security forces have also captured 2,630 Syrian refugees not registered in the city.

Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said last week that illegal Syrian immigrants would be sent to refugee camps rather than being deported, as they are all under temporary protection status in Turkey.

In early July, the governor’s office ordered Syrian refugees who were registered somewhere else in Turkey to leave Istanbul and return to their places of registration by Aug. 20.

There are a total of 1.06 million registered refugees in Istanbul, with 547,000 of them being Syrians, according to the authorities.