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Migrant entries from Turkey to Europe on the rise, Frontex chief says

Migrant entries from Turkey to Europe on the rise, Frontex chief says

The number of migrants entering Europe from Turkey rose significantly last year as people fleeing Syria and Afghanistan flooded into the country and then set out for Greece, the head of the EU’s border agency said on Friday.

More than 82,000 migrants tried to enter Europe without authorization in 2019, an increase of 46 percent over the previous year, Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri said in Brussels.

“This was mainly due to the situation in Syria, but also instability in Afghanistan, and changing policies towards Afghan nationals by Iranian and Pakistani authorities,” Leggeri said. He refused to blame the Turkish coast guard, saying it is “working well” to intercept people who leave, AP reported.

Frontex said the number of arrivals last year was the highest since the EU-Turkey deal to stop migrants leaving for Greece came into force.