More than 700 irregular migrants held in western Turkey

ANADOLU AGENCY
EDIRNE, Turkey
Published 11.05.2019 12:48
Turkish coast guard units captured 60 irregular migrants in the Aegean off the coast of Kuşadası district in Aydın province, western Turkey. (DHA Photo)
Turkish coast guard units captured 60 irregular migrants in the Aegean off the coast of Kuşadası district in Aydın province, western Turkey. (DHA Photo)

At least 757 irregular migrants were held across Turkey on Saturday, according to security sources.

The military spotted several groups of 534 irregular migrants in northwestern Edirne province -- who were planning to illegally cross the border -- and took them into custody, said a source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

The migrants included Afghan, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Iraqi, Iranian, Somalian, Libyan, Tunisian, Egyptian, Eritrean, Moroccan, Algerian and Syrian nationals.

Moreover, the Turkish Coast Guard detained 223 irregular migrants off the coast of western Aydın and Izmir provinces, another source said.

The migrants are Afghan and Iranian nationals who were planning to cross the Aegean Sea from Çeşme, Kuşadası and Didim districts to reach Greek islands, the source added.

All the migrants were later referred to provincial migration directorates.

Turkey has been the main route for refugees trying to cross into Europe, especially since the beginning of the civil war in Syria.

Some 268,000 irregular migrants were held in Turkey in 2018, according to the Interior Ministry.

The migrants were mostly Afghan, Pakistani, Syrian and Iraqi nationals.

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