A total of 89 illegal migrants, who were planning to cross the Aegean Sea to reach Greece's Lesbos Island, have been captured by Turkish gendarmerie units in the Ayvacık district of Turkey's western Çanakkale province.
District gendarmerie command units identified the illegal migrants, who were hiding in olive gardens and empty stockyards in several villages around Ayvacık.
The migrants, including women and children, were brought to the Gülpınar Gendarmerie Station and later identified to be of Congolese, Syrian, Afghan, Eritrean and Pakistani citizenship.
Following necessary registration procedures, the migrants were referred to the Ayvacık Repatriation Center.
Over the past year, thousands of people have made the short but dangerous attempt to cross the Aegean in a bid to reach Greece, before continuing on to northern and western Europe, however, weather conditions in the winter make the trips even more dangerous.
Turkey's five Aegean provinces including Çanakkale, Balıkesir, Izmir, Muğla and Aydın are the regions most frequently used by refugees leaving Turkey for the EU.
The EU-Turkey agreement reached on March 20, 2016 allows for the return of "irregular migrants" to Turkey from Greece in exchange for Syrian refugees' relocation from Turkey to within the EU bloc.