EU sees sharp drop in migrants illegally entering via Turkey

The number of migrants illegally entering the European Union via Turkey this year has dropped sharply, according to a media report. The figure has reached its lowest point in five years.

The European Union saw a 70 percent drop in migrants illegally entering the country from Turkey in the first nine months of 2020, German daily Welt reported Tuesday.

“The number of arrivals from Turkey in the EU in the year 2020 was 14,579,” according to the newspaper, citing a situation report from the EU Commission and the European External Action Service.

Last year at the same point, that figure was 48,554. This year’s figure is the lowest since 2015.

Of the migrants entering the EU this year, 11,921 went to Greece, 2,334 to Italy, 35 to Bulgaria and 289 went via boat directly to Cyprus, Welt said, citing the EU report.

The EU border agency Frontex earlier this month similarly noted a significant drop in illegal border crossings via the eastern Mediterranean route in 2020. The agency reported three-quarters fewer entries from January to September of this year compared to last.