At least 48 irregular migrants were intercepted across Turkey, security sources said on yesterday. In the northwestern province of Edirne, 22 irregular migrants were held in Eskiköy district by gendarmerie forces, said a security source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media. Security forces arrested one alleged human smuggler. In another operation, 26 migrants in a rubber boat were held by the Turkish Coast Guard in the Aegean Sea off the coast of Balıkesir province. All migrants were later referred to provincial migration directorates.
Turkey has been the main route for refugees trying to cross to Europe, especially since 2011, when the Syrian civil war began. Some 265,000 irregular migrants were held in Turkey in 2018, according to the Interior Ministry. The irregular migrants were mostly Afghan, Pakistani, Syrian and Iraqi nationals.