At least 547 undocumented migrants were held in Edirne, Izmir, Sivas, Hatay and Van provinces when they either tried to reach Europe or attempted to enter Turkey using illegal routes, according to security officials Thursday.
In an operation against undocumented migrants in northeastern province of Edirne, Turkish Coast Guard teams held 164 people from Iran, Palestine, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Somalia who were trying to reach Greece and Bulgaria illegally.
Police and gendarmerie forces held 73 more undocumented Syrians, Pakistanis and Afghans in a separate operation in the same province.
In the western port city of Izmir, coast guards held 60 people, including Somalis and Syrians, who were trying to reach Greek islands illegally.
Also, in southern province of Hatay, border guards held 64 Syrians, who were trying to enter Turkey.
In eastern provinces of Sivas and Van, gendarme held 186 undocumented migrants of Pakistani and Afghan origins.
All the migrants held were sent to regional immigration departments.
So far, hundreds of thousands of people have made short but perilous journeys across the Aegean to reach northern and western Europe. Nearly 2,000 refugees per month cross into Greek islands, according to the UNHCR data.
In March 2016, Turkey and the EU signed a deal which aimed to discourage irregular migration through the Aegean Sea by taking stricter measures against human traffickers and improving the conditions of some 3 million Syrian refugees in Turkey.