37,582 irregular migrants had been deported from Istanbul in 2019.
Since the eruption of the bloody war in Syria in 2011, Turkey has taken in millions of refugees and deported thousands of others, including Palestinians, who fled deadly conflicts, making Turkey the world’s top refugee-hosting country.
Istanbul governor Ali Yerlikaya underlined that 37,582 irregular migrants had been deported from Istanbul in 2019, while this figure had been 11,292 during the previous year.
Yerlikaya also said that some 118,432 irregular migrants were caught in Istanbul during the year, while the number had been 28,364 in 2018.
Ankara has so far spent $40 billion on the refugees, according to official figures.
The figures showed that the number of irregular migrants held in 2019 in the metropolis was more than the total during the previous last three years.
Turkey is a main crossing point for migrants, including Palestinian refugees, trying to make their way to Europe to escape violent conflicts or economic hardship.
Rights groups have kept record of the death of dozens of Palestinian refugees onboard Europe-bound boats, as they fled war-torn Syria to Turkey, before heading for neighboring Greece and other coastal destinations.
A deal between Turkey and the European Union in 2016 helped stem migration flows, but many asylum-seekers still attempt the dangerous trip across the Aegean Sea to Greek islands.