UK announces deal with Turkey to tackle irregular migration

The agreement aims to disrupt criminal networks organising ‘illegal journeys’ to the UK, British interior ministry says.

About fourty migrants, fom various origins, hold an inflatable boat before boarding to attempt crossing the Channel illegally to Britain, near the northern French city of Gravelines on July 11, 2022
About 40 undocumented people hold an inflatable boat near the French city of Gravelines before attempting an English Channel crossing [File: Denis Charlet/AFP]

The United Kingdom has announced a deal with Turkey to enhance cooperation in tackling irregular migration, which includes a new operational “centre of excellence” to be established by the Turkish National Police.

London announced the plan on Tuesday evening as part of its attempts to reduce irregular migration to the UK, a key political issue.

The new UK-backed centre will “enrich existing expertise in both countries with respect to activities aimed at disrupting criminal networks organising illegal journeys”, according to a statement from the British interior ministry.

The UK will also deploy more officers in Turkey to disrupt the criminal gangs that run the irregular migration routes.

The two countries reiterated their commitment to work together to tackle the problem and to strengthen cooperation with countries of origin and transit.

The UK government is under particular pressure to stop undocumented people from making crossings of the English Channel.

“As I’ve made clear, we must do everything we can to smash the people smuggling gangs and stop the boats,” said British Home Secretary Suella Braverman as her department announced the deal.

“Our partnership with Turkey, a close friend and ally, will enable our law enforcement agencies to work together on this international problem and tackle the small boat supply chain,” she added.

The new plan will feature heavily at the upcoming UK-Turkey Migration Dialogue meeting, due to take place in London later this year.

Source: AFP