By Muhammed Boztepe
Undocumented migrant deaths in the Aegean Sea plummeted 85 percent in 2017 compared to 2016, according to a security source.
A total of 806 people lost their lives in the Aegean in 2015, while 434 died in 2016, and 61 in 2017.
Turkey has been
The Turkish Coast Guard Command, working in coordination with other security forces to prevent illegal crossings in Turkey, has achieved great success in stemming illegal migration by sea.
Of 853,650 people seeking to cross from Turkey to Greece in 2015, 91,611 were held. In 2016, this number dropped to 37,130 out of 173,614, and finally to 21,937 out of 28,907 in 2017.
Due to the deterrent effects of Turkish Coast Guard operations, attempts to migrate have been reduced by 97 percent since 2015, while 43 percent of people’s attempts to cross to Greece were prevented in 2017.
The Turkish Coast Guard’s fight was not limited solely to the rising percentage of detained migrants. The rate of capturing human traffickers who have left their migrants to die also rose in 2017. A total of 118 traffickers were arrested in 2016, while 171 were arrested in 2017.
The largest amount of drugs seized at sea in Turkey was reported to be from the Sehit Alper Al Operation, where a total of 1,071 tons were seized in a single swoop.
In other operations, around 11,000 drug pills, alongside 2,160 tons of marijuana, and 293 kilograms (645 pounds) of cocaine, were seized.