A total of 78 migrants, who were planning to illegally reach EU member states, have been captured in Izmir's Çeşme district in western Turkey, while 11 suspects have been detained for organized migrant smuggling.
Gendarmerie units searched 7 vehicles near a German holiday resort as part of ongoing operations against human trafficking and illegal passage to Greece.
Some 32 migrants from Syria, who were planning to make the journey across the Aegean Sea to reach the Greek islands, were captured and nine suspects organizing the trip were detained during a vehicle search.
Meanwhile, an additional 43 Syrian migrants and three Congolese migrants were captured during operations in the Ildır neighborhood.
Two suspected human traffickers were detained after a short chase.
Following necessary registration procedures, the migrants were referred to the Izmir Provincial Immigration Authority.
Over the past year, thousands of people have made the short but dangerous attempt to cross the Aegean in a bid to reach Greece, before continuing on to northern and western Europe, however, weather conditions in the winter make the trips even more dangerous.
Turkey's five Aegean provinces including Çanakkale, Balıkesir, Muğla, Aydın and Izmir are the regions most frequently used by refugees leaving Turkey for the EU.
The EU-Turkey agreement reached on March 20, 2016 allows for the return of "irregular migrants" to Turkey from Greece in exchange for Syrian refugees' relocation from Turkey to within the EU bloc.
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