Situated at the crossroads of trade and travel routes linking East and West, Turkey has always been a key junction for many types of migratory movements, whether by land or sea. During the last decades, millions of Turkish migrant workers have left their country to work abroad, but recently Turkey has itself become a destination country for labour migration, and a major transit country for West-bound irregular migration. The increasing illegal transit migration poses growing challenges to Turkish Government.
This report is based on a wide range of materials gathered from transit migrants themselves, from Turkish migration authorities and, uniquely, from people smugglers. Owing to its wide approach, the study casts light on the realities and motivations of migrants, on the illegal smuggling business, and discusses the needs for continuing migration policy development in cooperation with western European countries.