Turkish authorities detain 160 illegal migrants

ANADOLU AGENCY
AYDIN, Turkey
Published 08.08.2017 22:13

At least 160 Syrian refugees were detained by Turkish security forces yesterday while trying to illegally cross into Greece from western Turkey's Aydın province.

The Coast Guard Command confirmed that they located and stopped a vessel off the coasts of Tuzburnu in Aydın's Didim district, taking 54 Syrians, including 27 children into custody.

Meanwhile, the district's gendarmerie command conducted another operation in the Batıköy neighborhood where they stopped a truck carrying 106 migrants, including 23 children. A suspected human trafficker was also arrested and remanded into custody by a court.

Turkey and the European Union (EU) signed a refugee deal in March 2016, which aimed to discourage irregular migration through the Aegean Sea by taking stricter measures against human traffickers and improving the conditions of nearly 3 million Syrian refugees in Turkey.

Since then, the number of refugees illegally crossing the Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece has dropped by 85 percent, according to the Turkish Coast Guard.

Also as of the deal, the EU said it would open two new chapters in Turkey's EU accession negotiations, provide funding for refugees and grant visa-free travel for Turkish citizens to Europe.

The 28-nation bloc, however, has failed to hold up its part of the deal thus far.

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