Turkish authorities have intercepted a total of 112 migrants attempting to illegally cross into Greece, officials said on Monday.
Coast guard forces in two separate operations stopped 72 Afghan migrants off the coasts in western Balıkesir and northwestern Edirne provinces as they were trying to cross into Greek waters on inflatable boats. The migrants included 24 children and 14 women, officers said.
Similarly, another dinghy carrying 40 migrants was intercepted by coast guard boats off the coast of southwestern Muğla province. The migrants included citizens from 12 different countries, authorities said.
All of the migrants were either taken to hospitals for medical care or transferred to provincial migration offices.
Turkey held a total of 1,797 irregular migrants across the county in the past week.
As many as 1,233 migrants were held in multiple operations carried out by gendarmerie forces in the northwestern Edirne, Kırklareli and Tekirdağ provinces, bordering Greece and Bulgaria.
In the coastal provinces of Çanakkale, Balıkesir, Aydın and İzmir the coast guard and gendarmerie forces rounded up a total of 528 migrants as they were trying to cross to Europe through Greece.
In 2019, more than 454,500 irregular migrants were held in Turkey, according to the Interior Ministry.
Turkey has been a key transit point for irregular migrants aiming to cross to Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution.