Some 371 irregular migrants were detained in several operations along the western coast of Turkey, security sources said on Sunday.
Members of the local coast guard in the Aegean province of Izmir detained a total of 216 migrants as part of two operations in the shoreside districts of Seferihisar and Çeşme. The group caught in Seferihisar consisted of 119 Afghans and seven persons of African citizenship. The latter group was stopped leaving the shores of Çeşme in two separate dinghies and consisted of 35 Syrians, 13 Palestinians and 42 Central Africans.
Meanwhile, two operations to the south, in Aydın province, saw the Turkish Coast Guard halt two rubber boats carrying 47 Syrians, 26 Palestinians, 13 Afghans, three Somalians, two Iraqis and one person from Yemen.
Coast guard staff in the coastal province of Muğla stopped another group of 63 migrants from Palestine, Syria, Somalia and Yemen leaving on dinghies.
All the apprehended migrants were handed over to local migration authorities.
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 aiming to cross into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution.
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