Middle East

More than 100 irregular migrants held across Turkey

Migrants held in Aydin province

05.01.2019
More than 100 irregular migrants held across Turkey

Ankara

By Esber Ayaydin

AYDIN, Turkey

 A total of 105 irregular migrants were held across Turkey, according to security sources on Saturday.

In the western province of Aydin, the coast guard held a group of 94 migrants -- including 46 Syrians, 37 Afghans, five Sierra Leoneans, four Palestinians and two Malians -- on a dinghy off Kusadasi district. They were trying to reach Greece.

At least 11 migrants were also rounded up in southern Hatay province, security sources said on Saturday. 

The migrants were held as police squads stopped two vehicles carrying Syrian migrants, who illegally crossed to Turkey from Syria, in Kirikhan district. 

Syrian drivers of the vehicles were arrested for smuggling charges. 

All of the migrants were referred to provincial migration directorates.

Some 265,000 irregular migrants were held in Turkey in 2018 as of Oct. 15, according to the Interior Ministry.

At least 9,947 irregular migrants trying to cross to Greek islands were also rounded up in southern Aegean in 2018. 

Turkey has been the main route for irregular migrants trying to cross to Europe, especially since 2011 when the Syrian civil war began.

*Durmus Genc from Mugla province contributed to story

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