170 irregular migrants held across Turkey

By Ferdi Uzun, Necat Hazar, and Cem San

AYDIN / VAN / BURSA, Turkey (AA) – Turkish security forces held 170 irregular migrants across the country on Monday, according to security sources.

Security forces held 104 irregular migrants in Didim in the Aegean Aydin province trying to cross the sea in four rubber boats, said the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

The migrants were Iraqi, Syrian, and Palestinian nationals, including children and women.

Separately, 46 irregular migrants were held in a minibus in the city of Ipekyolu in the eastern Van province.

Among the migrants, six were Bangladesh nationals and the remainder were Afghans.

The minibus driver was arrested on charges of human smuggling.

In addition, 20 irregular Afghan migrants were held from a pickup truck on the Bursa-Izmir highway.

The Syrian truck driver was arrested for having a fake driver's license, and all the migrants were referred to provincial migration offices.

Turkey has been the main route for irregular migrants trying to cross into Europe, especially since 2011 when the Syrian civil war began.