A total of 139 illegal migrants were held in the districts of Çeşme, Menderes and Urla of Turkey's Izmir province Wednesday after security personnel spotted groups of migrants attempting to illegally cross into Europe.
The migrants, who were aboard rubber boats, were held by the Turkish Coast Guard off the country's Aegean coast. All of the migrants were later referred to provincial migration directorates.
Turkey has been the main route for refugees trying to cross into Europe, especially since the beginning of Syria's civil war. Some 268,000 irregular migrants were held in Turkey in 2018, according to the Interior Ministry.