35 irregular migrants held in northeastern Turkey

By Abdulkadir Nisanci

BAYBURT, Turkey (AA) – A total of 35 irregular migrants were held in northeastern Turkey on Monday, according to police sources.

The sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on talking to the press, said the police stopped two vehicles in the Bayburt province.

The police found 35 irregular migrants in the vehicles and arrested six suspects for alleged human smuggling, the sources said.

The sources added that one of the suspects was remanded in custody and the rest were released on judicial control.

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

Of the migrants held in Turkey last year, the majority came from Pakistan — around 15,000 — followed by Afghans at around 12,000. Syrians totaled about 10,000. There has been a 60-percent increase in migrant flow since 2016. The number was 31,000 in 2016.

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