A total of 183 migrants, who were planning to illegally reach Greece, have been captured in Izmir's Çeşme district in western Turkey.
On Monday, a coast guard plane spotted three dinghies in Mersinli Bay near Çeşme's Alaçatı neighborhood and launched a sea-based operation during which some 139 irregular migrants from Central Africa, Iraq, Palestine, Congo, Senegal, Syria and other countries were apprehended.
Meanwhile, coast guard units also launched an operation near Çeşme's Alev Island after receiving a tip-off. During the anti-illegal migration operation, 21 Syrian, 10 Palestinian and 13 Iraqi nationals were captured.
The illegal migrants, who were brought ashore, were referred to the Izmir Provincial Immigration Authority after necessary registration procedures.
Over the past years, 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.
Turkey's five Aegean provinces including Çanakkale, Balıkesir, Muğla, Aydın and Izmir 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.