Turkish authorities intercepted over 700 irregular migrants across the country on Monday.
The Coast Guard in the Seferihisar district of the western province of Izmir detected a fishing boat carrying 240 irregular migrants. Security personnel detained five people who were also on the boat for alleged human smuggling.
The coast guard also rescued 252 irregular migrants in another incident in the same area.
A sailboat carrying 39 irregular migrants was also rescued by the coast guard. In a separate incident, 29 irregular migrants pushed back by Greek forces were also rescued.
Another group of 28 irregular migrants drifting due to engine failure were also rescued by Turkish forces.
According to a statement by the Turkish Coast Guard, some 33 irregular migrants off the coast of Bodrum district of southwestern Muğla province were held from two separate rubber boats.
In Muğla's Fethiye district, another sailboat carrying 29 irregular migrants was rescued after it requested help due to engine failure.
Some 62 irregular migrants in life rafts and rubber boats pushed into Turkish territorial waters by Greek forces off the coast of Marmaris and Dalaman districts of Muğla were rescued by the Turkish Coast Guard.
Some 16 irregular migrants were also held in the eastern province of Erzurum. Two people were detained for alleged human smuggling.
In eastern Van province, police held some 23 irregular migrants of Afghan origin.
In a separate operation, some five people were detained for alleged human smuggling in Van.
Some 10 irregular migrants in northwestern Kırklareli province were rescued after they reached authorities for being lost.
All of the migrants were referred to the provincial migration office following health assistance.
Turkey has been among the main routes for irregular migrants trying to cross to Europe in recent years. Some 265,000 irregular migrants were held in Turkey in 2018, according to the Interior Ministry.
Turkey and the European Union signed a deal in 2016 to curb illegal immigration through the dangerous Aegean Sea route from the Turkish mainland to Greek islands. Under the deal, Greece sends back migrants held on Aegean islands after they crossed over from nearby Turkish shores, and in return, EU countries receive a number of Syrian migrants legally.
The deal, reinforced with an escalated crackdown on human smugglers and more patrols in the Aegean, significantly decreased the number of illegal crossings. However, some desperate migrants still take the route, especially in winter months when a safe journey through the Aegean is nearly impossible aboard dinghies.