Türkiye, Bulgaria continue efforts against migrant smuggling


Türkiye and Bulgaria will continue to work against the scourge of migrant smuggling, Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said on Sunday.

“We have been working together for a long time, especially on migrant smuggling, human smuggling, and border security to stop the migration flow and to prevent it,” Soylu told a news conference with his Bulgarian counterpart Ivan Demerdzhiev in Istanbul.

“In this respect, we have a common agreement to exchange information and to continue the same efforts without letup.”

Soylu said Ankara and Sofia also took steps together to fight drug smuggling.

Joint cooperation against terrorist groups, including the PKK, YPG/PKK, and FETO – the terrorist group behind the defeated 2016 coup in Türkiye – continues resolutely, he added.

Demerdzhiev thanked Soylu for providing “great support” to neighboring Bulgaria in the fight against immigration and said the EU also sees this cooperation as the two countries protect the EU’s external borders.

“I am confident that the EU will take steps to further support these great efforts of both countries,” he added.

Cooperation on the fight against terrorist groups will continue, Demerdzhiev said, ensuring Bulgaria will arrest the terrorists and hand over them to justice.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the European Union, and the US, and is responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is the terrorist PKK’s Syrian branch.

FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup in Türkiye of July 15, 2016 in which 251 people were killed and 2,734 wounded. Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.

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