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Number of illegal immigrants trying to reach Europe via Turkey soars 60 pct
Last Updated: 2018-07-31 07:12 | Xinhua
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The number of illegal immigrants trying to sneak into Europe via Turkey's sea routes has soared 60 percent year-on-year in 2018, the Turkish Coast Guard Command revealed Monday.

Since the beginning of this year, the coast guard has stopped 14,775 migrants from illegally sneaking into Europe from seas surrounding Turkey, including the Aegean Sea, Mediterranean Sea and the northern Black Sea.

The figure was 9,221 during the same period in 2017.

In addition, 54 migrants have so far lost their lives in sea incidents this year, up from 27 in 2017.

The most favorable route for the illegal immigrants this year is the Aegean Sea, with 13,732 refugees attempting to cross it.

Turkey and the European Union inked an agreement on refugees in March 2016 to curb the flow of illegal immigration to Europe and improve the conditions of Syrian refugees in Turkey.

Turkey has already hosted around 3.5 million Syrians.

In addition to Syrians, Afghan refugees and people from Asian and African countries have also been using Turkey as a transition point on their way to Europe.

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