Turkey, Europe

72 migrants en route to Greek island caught

Turkish Coast Guard apprehends 72 foreigners trying to cross Aegean Sea to reach Greek island of Lesbos

Burcu Arik   | 02.10.2016
72 migrants en route to Greek island caught

Ankara

By Ahmet Bayram

IZMIR

The Turkish Coast Guard has apprehended 72 migrants off the shore of the western Izmir province, blocking their illegal journey to the Greek island of Lesbos, coast guard officials said Sunday.

The Turkish Coast Guard boat TCG-Dost (Friend) stopped the group in a small boat at sea off the shore of Dikili district, said the sources, speaking on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking with the media.

The group included children. The migrants all came from Afghanistan. 

After identity checks, the group was offered food and drinks and transported to Izmir Migrants Return Center, the sources added.

More than a million refugees and migrants traveled from Turkey to Greece last year before an EU-Turkey deal stemmed the flow in March. 

According to the International Organization for Migration, more than 154,000 people have crossed the Aegean Sea from Turkey to Greece so far this year and 376 have died during the journey.

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