The Turkish Coast Guard stopped 77 irregular migrants in Turkey’s western Izmir province, security sources said on Monday.
In a dinghy off the coast of the district of Dikili, 43 migrants were intercepted. The group consisted of 19 Palestinians and 24 others from central African countries.
A second group of 34 migrants, all coming from Afghanistan was stopped off the coast of Karaada.
The migrants were later taken to the provincial migration office for the necessary legal proceedings.
In 2018, some 268,000 irregular migrants were held in Turkey, according to the Interior Ministry. Turkey has been a key transit point for irregular migrants looking to cross into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution.