Turkey

14 irregular migrants held in NW Turkey

Migrants held in northwestern Kirklareli province near Bulgarian border

Büşra Nur Bilgiç,Ahmet Salih Alacacı   | 08.02.2019
14 irregular migrants held in NW Turkey

By Ozgun Tiran 

KIRKLARELI, Turkey 

More than 600 irregular migrants were held across Turkey, security sources said on Friday. 

The local gendarmerie caught two separate groups of 14 irregular migrants in the northwestern Kirklareli province, near the border with Bulgaria, preparing to illegally cross to Europe, said the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media. 

All the migrants were Pakistani nationals. 

In the southern province of Adana, police rounded up seven irregular migrants, who entered Turkey illegally. 

In a separate operation in the Black Sea province of Artvin, gendarmerie forces held 38 irregular migrants -- eight Pakistani, three Bangladeshi and 27 Afghan nationals -- who reportedly entered Turkey illegally. 

In the northwestern province of Edirne -- bordering Greece and Bulgaria -- 550 irregular migrants were held by the gendarmerie. 

The migrants were referred to provincial migration directorates.

In recent years, 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 last year, according to the Interior Ministry. 

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