273 irregular migrants held across Turkey
Most of the irregular migrants were intercepted in the Aegean Sea while trying to cross to Greece
By Candogan Parlatan, Ferdi Uzun and Mustafa Yildirim
A total of 273 irregular migrants were held across Turkey on Tuesday, according to security sources.
The Turkish Coast Guard intercepted 271 irregular migrants in the Aegean Sea in seven different operations, said the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
The migrants were trying to cross to Greece by boat and were mostly from Afghanistan, but a large minority of them, 43, were from the Central African Republic, the sources said.
Separately, in the eastern Van province, illegal drugs were seized on two Afghan irregular migrants and they were arrested, the sources added.
Turkey has been the main route for refugees trying to cross into Europe, especially since the beginning of the civil war in Syria.
As of Oct. 15, this year some 205,000 irregular migrants have been held in Turkey, according to the Interior Ministry.
The irregular migrants were mostly Afghan, Pakistani, Syrian and Iraqi nationals.
* Mesut Varol contributed to this story from Van.
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