The UK and Turkey to establish a police center for ‘combating illegal migration’

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The UK has announced a new agreement with Turkey to slow down the “illegal” flow of migrants to Europe.

A written statement published on the UK government’s website stated that “UK and Turkish law enforcement officers will step up joint operations to tackle organized immigration crime and disrupt the supply chain of boat parts and other materials used as part of illegal migration journeys.”

The agreement was made following a visit to Turkey

The agreement followed a series of strategically significant international visits aimed at strengthening cooperation in the fight against illegal migration and cutting off routes used by smugglers. These visits were led by Robert Jenrick, the UK Immigration Minister, and the most recent one was to Turkey last month.

According to the government of the UK, the export of small boats and boat parts from the European continent to the UK to facilitate illegal crossings is a crucial tactic used by human traffickers.

With the agreement, both countries have committed to raising the issue of illegal migration on international platforms.

Establishment of a New Police Center in Turkey

The statement mentioned, “The deepening partnership between the UK and Turkey will involve the establishment of a new Turkey-based center by the Turkish National Police, which will serve as an operational ‘Excellence Center’ for combating organized migrant crimes. The UK will provide support for this new center.”

Interior Minister Suella Braverman emphasized the need to do everything possible to dismantle human trafficking gangs and stop the boats. She stated, “Our partnership with Turkey, a close friend, and ally, will enable our law enforcement agencies to work together on this international issue and dismantle the supply chain of small boats.”

*Fotoğraf: Suella Braverman

“The UK is a leading force in the fight against illegal migration,”Migration Minister Robert Jenrick said, while highlighting that illegal migration is a global issue.

Turkey Among the Top in Illegal Migration

It is believed that over a thousand migrants have reached the UK from Turkey via the English Channel since the beginning of the year, marking a significant increase compared to previous years. Turkey has become one of the most common countries of origin for those arriving in the UK via illegal routes.

After the record-breaking 45,755 crossings in 2022, more than 12,000 migrants have crossed the English Channel this year.

£3 Million Sent Earlier

About a month ago, it was revealed that the UK’s Home Office had sent £3 million to Turkey to “keep refugees at bay.” According to The Guardian had reported that a fund, originally allocated in 2019 for the training of law enforcement and coast guard personnel in Turkey, continued to increase.

The fund, which had risen to £425,000 between 2021 and 2022, reached £3 million in the past year.

Controversy Surrounding the “Floating Prison”

The UK and Turkey to establish a police center for 'combating illegal migration' 1

Britain decided to accommodate migrants in unused military facilities and floating structures built on ships for approximately 50,000 refugees in the country.

A large ship named Bibby Stockholm was prepared at Portland Port to house migrants arriving from the English Channel.

The plan is to bring nearly 500 migrants on board the Bibby Stockholm within 18 months, and the first group of 15 migrants were taken to the port on August 7.

However, migrant rights organizations and human rights groups have opposed the ship project from the outset. They refer to Bibby Stockholm as a “floating prison” and argue that detaining migrants under prison conditions violates human rights. (NT/PE)


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