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Over 220 illegal migrants held in Turkey


Turkish security forces on Thursday detained 226 illegal migrants during operations in several provinces, security officials said, APA reports quoting Anadolu agency.

 

In northwestern Edirne province, security forces detained 109 illegal migrants who were trying to reach Greece and Bulgaria, a security official, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on talking to the media, told Anadolu Agency.

 

The suspects were Pakistani, Syrian, Afghan, and Iranian nationals, the source added.

 

Later security forces also detained 14 illegal migrants in Edirne’s Ipsala district, another security source said.

 

Security forces found the migrants, who were of Pakistani origin, when they stopped a suspicious minivan.

 

In Soke district of western Aydin province, police detained 40 migrants who were being transported by truck, another security official said.

 

The driver fled by foot, leaving the truck on the side of the highway after seeing a police checkpoint.

 

The truck was driving from Istanbul to Aydin's Didim district, to cross into Greece, the official said, adding the search for the driver continued.

 

In another operation in Ayvacik district of northwestern Canakkale province, 38 illegal migrants were detained as they were trying to illegally get to the Greek island of Lesbos.

 

During the operation, migrants from Syria and Iraq were detained, including women and children, a security source said.

 

Security forces also seized one boat and one boat motor, the source added.

 

Separately, in Kirikhan district of southern Hatay province, 25 migrants from Syria were detained based on a tipoff.

 

Security forces found the migrants -- including 10 children – when they stopped a van.

 

In March 2016, Turkey and the EU signed a deal which aimed to discourage irregular migration through the Aegean Sea by taking stricter measures against human traffickers and improving the conditions of some 3 million Syrian refugees in Turkey.

 

Since then, the number of refugees detained crossing the Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece has fallen 85 percent, according to the Turkish Coast Guard.

 

*Mehmet Yavas from Canakkale, Huseyin Yildiz from Hatay, and Murat Senbaklavaci from Aydin contributed to this story.

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