20 asylum seekers held in Turkey
Afghan, Iraqi, Pakistani nationals entering country illegally caught in northwestern and eastern provinces
At least 20 asylum seekers were held by authorities in the northwestern Kirklareli and eastern Erzincan provinces of Turkey, security sources said on Wednesday.
The Afghan and Iraqi nationals were caught by gendarmerie forces in the Kofcaz district of Kirklareli province, which borders Bulgaria.
After routine checks and health controls, they were referred to the provincial gendarmerie command, and later to a repatriation center.
The security teams on patrol held eight irregular migrants, three of whom are Afghan and five of whom are Pakistani nationals, near the intercity bus station of Erzincan.
The asylum-seekers will be transferred to the provincial migration office after their identification at the police department.
Turkey has been a key transit point for asylum seekers who want to cross into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution.
Turkey hosts about 4 million refugees, more than any other country in the world.
*Writing by Jeyhun Aliyev and Dilan Pamuk from Ankara