More than 200 irregular migrants held in western Turkey

            By Ferdi Uzun </p>  <p>ANKARA (AA) - No less than 204 irregular migrants were held in western Turkey, security sources said Monday. </p>  <p>The Turkish Coast Guard nabbed 48 Afghan migrants from a rubber boat in Dikili in the Aegean Izmir province, said a security source who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media. </p>  <p>In a separate operation in the same province, 70 migrants were caught by gendarmerie forces while preparing to depart Turkey for Greece off the coast of Menderes. </p>  <p>Security forces arrested three human smugglers. </p>  <p>Separately, 41 irregular migrants were held from a boat off the coast of Didim in Aydin province. </p>  <p>An hour later, The Turkish Coast Guard held a second boat with 45 migrants. </p>  <p>All the migrants were referred to provincial migration authorities. </p>  <p>Turkey has been a main route for irregular migrants trying to cross to Europe, especially since 2011, the start of the Syrian civil war. </p>  <p>More than 265,000 irregular migrants were held in Turkey in 2018, according to the Interior Ministry. </p>  <p> 

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