Turkey

Over 100 irregular migrants held across Turkey

Migrants held in Edirne, Mugla, Aydin, Canakkale provinces

Faruk Zorlu   | 31.12.2018
Over 100 irregular migrants held across Turkey

By Burak Akay

CANAKKALE, Turkey

At least 116 irregular migrant were held across Turkey, security sources said on Monday.

In Ayvacik district of western Canakkale province, the Turkish Coast Guard rounded up 47 irregular migrants after the boat carrying them capsized, off the coast of Babakale region, a security source said on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

The migrants -- including Afghan, Iran and Pakistan nationals, were trying to illegally cross the Turkish border, the source added.

In southwestern Mugla province, 17 irregular migrants, including women and children, were held off the coast of Gumbet.

The migrants included 11 Yemeni, five Palestinian and an Iraqi national. A Turkish national was also arrested for alleged human smuggling.

Separately, eight irregular migrants – all Palestinian nationals -- were held in Didim district in the western Aydin province.

Turkish police also rounded up 47 migrants in Enez district of northwestern Edirne province.

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

Among the migrants held in 2017 in Turkey, the majority came from Pakistan -- around 15,000 -- followed by Afghans at around 12,000. Syrians totaled about 10,000. There has been a 60 percent increase in migrant flow since 2016. The number was 31,000 in 2016.

* Durmus Genc in Mugla, Ferdi Uzun in Aydin and Hakan Mehmet Sahin in Edirne contributed to this story.

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