Police on Friday arrested 41 suspects that included members of a gang accused of smuggling illegal immigrants as well as fugitive terrorists.
The suspects were among 61 captured in operations in 20 cities including Istanbul and other suspects were released on bail.
The suspects are accused of providing forged passports and safe houses for "customers" planning to leave Turkey.
Media outlets reported that the suspects provided forged passports to illegal immigrants seeking to travel to Europe as well as terrorists from Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), the PKK and the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C). Arrests came after six months of surveillance.
The suspects had 422 forged passports in their possession, as well as a large cache of material used for forgery.
Police also found 157 people hiding in warehouses used as safe houses by the gang as they were waiting for their forged passports to flee abroad.
Among them were 148 illegal immigrants, three fugitives wanted for murder, four FETÖ, one PKK and one DHKP-C suspect. The terror suspects and fugitives were arrested while the rest were handed over to migration authorities. The suspects would help FETÖ members fly to Georgia and PKK members to Greece. Turkey has seen a rise in number of migrants, particularly those from its war-torn neighbor Syria in recent years which attracted criminals looking to profit from human smuggling. COMPILED FROM WIRE SERVICES
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