Turkey

135 irregular migrants held across Turkey

Migrants held in northwestern Canakkale, southern Hatay, and eastern Van provinces

15.02.2019
135 irregular migrants held across Turkey

By Erdal Turkoglu

ANKARA

At least 135 irregular migrants were held across Turkey, security sources said on Friday.

In the southern Hatay province -- bordering Syria -- 61 migrants who illegally entered Turkey were held by security forces at the border, said a security source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

Separately, in the northwestern Canakkale province, 40 Afghan nationals preparing to cross into Greece illegally were held by gendarmerie forces.

In the eastern province of Van, bordering Iran, gendarmerie forces rounded up 34 irregular migrants who entered Turkey illegally.

All the migrants were referred to provincial migration directorates.

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

Over 265,000 irregular migrants were held in Turkey in 2018, according to the Interior Ministry.

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