Nearly 1,230 irregular migrants held across Turkey

Turkey has been main route for refugees trying to cross to Europe, especially since beginning of civil war in Syria

Salih Baran   | 05.04.2019
Nearly 1,230 irregular migrants held across Turkey

EDIRNE, Turkey

At least 1,227 irregular migrants were held across Turkey on Friday, according to security sources.

In the northwestern Edirne province -- bordering Greece and Bulgaria -- gendarmerie forces held some 287 migrants, said a source, on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

Meanwhile, police held some 496 irregular migrants in the same province when they were trying to illegally cross to Bulgaria.

In northwestern Kirklareli province, gendarmerie forces held 43 migrants during regular patrols, another source said.

One alleged human smuggler was also arrested in the operation.

In northwestern province of Tekirdag, police held 181 irregular migrants during regular patrols. The police also arrested one alleged human smuggler.

Meanwhile, some 71 irregular migrants were held in two different operations in Aegean Aydin province.

Separately, in Aegean Izmir province, 119 irregular migrants aboard rubber boats were held by the Turkish Coast Guard off the coast of Ozdere. Security forces also arrested one alleged human smuggler.

In the southeastern Siirt province, gendarmerie forces held 30 irregular migrants for reportedly trying to illegally enter Turkey.

All of the migrants were later referred to provincial migration directorates.

Turkey has been the main route for refugees trying to cross into Europe, especially since the beginning of the civil war in Syria.

Some 268,000 irregular migrants were held in Turkey in 2018, according to the Interior Ministry. The migrants were mostly Afghan, Pakistani, Syrian and Iraqi nationals.

*Ozgur Tiran in Kirklareli; Bahri Asik and Mehmet Calik in Aydin; Alper Aral, Suleyman Coskun Bozyel and Mesut Karaduman in Tekirdag; Fecri Barlik in Siirt; Safak Yel in İzmir contributed this story

*Writing by Busra Nur Bilgic

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