Turkish security forces intercepted 44 illegal migrants in southeastern Turkey's Van province, the local security directorate said in a statement Monday.
Ipekyolu Security Directorate units in the Gürpınar district stopped a minibus carrying irregular migrants, driven by a suspect identified as E.Ö., on the highway between Van and Hakkari provinces, according to the statement.
A Turkish court issued an arrest order for the detained minibus driver while the 32 Afghan and 12 Pakistani nationals were taken to a center for migrants for legal procedures.
Turkey has been the main route for refugees trying to cross to Europe, especially since 2011, when the Syrian civil war began. Some 265,000 irregular migrants were held in Turkey in 2018, according to the Interior Ministry. The irregular migrants were mostly Afghan, Pakistani, Syrian and Iraqi nationals.