At least 88 illegal migrants were intercepted in Turkey's Aegean region over the weekend, security sources said Sunday.
A group of 22 Afghan, 17 Iraqi and five Syrian nationals on a rubber boat were held by gendarmerie forces off Çeşme, İzmir. In a separate operation in the Aegean Aydın province, a group of 44 migrants in a rubber boat were held off the Menderes Delta by the Turkish Coast Guard. All the migrants were later referred to provincial migration directorates. Six people were also arrested on suspicion of human trafficking.
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.