Nearly 500 undocumented migrants held across Turkey
Turkey has been main route for refugees trying to cross into Europe
By Hakan Mehmet Sahin, Cemal Asan and Erdal Turkoglu
A total of 493 undocumented migrants were held across Turkey on Monday, according to security sources.
In the northwestern province of Edirne, 385 migrants were rounded up in the Bosnakoy, Yenikadin, Ipsala, Meric, Havsa and Uzunkopru districts as well as in the village of Orhaniye, said coast guard sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
The migrants were from Syria, Morocco, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine and Algeria, as well as from Iran and Egypt.
Separately, 87 undocumented migrants were rounded up in the Caldiran and Baskale districts of the eastern Van province, according to a statement by provincial gendarmerie command.
In southern Hatay’s Altinozu district, 21 Syrian nationals were held.
All were referred to provincial migration authorities.
Turkey has been the main route for refugees trying to cross into Europe, especially since the start of Syria’s civil war in 2011.
Among the migrants held last year in Turkey, the majority came from Pakistan -- around 15,000 -- followed by Afghans at around 12,000. Syrians totaled 10,000.