Nearly 600 irregular migrants held in Turkey

By Salih Baran

EDIRNE, Turkey (AA) – At least 593 irregular migrants were held across Turkey, security sources said on Tuesday.

In northwestern Edirne province, 370 irregular migrants, who attempted to illegally go abroad, were detained, said a security source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

The migrants, including Palestinian, Moroccan, Algerian, Senegalese, Iranian, Iraqi, Syrian, Libyan, Afghan, Bangladeshi and Pakistani nationals, were held during patrols in the villages of Orhaniye, Bosnakoy and Yenikadin, as well as Meric, Uzunkopru and Ipsala districts, the source added.

Separately, in the Ayvacik district of northwestern Canakkale province, 69 Afghan nationals, including women and children, were rounded up at the shore by the coastguard teams.

Coastguard teams also held 50 irregular migrants off the western Aydin province’s Didim district, said a security source.

In the Altinozu district of southern Hatay province, 43 Syrian nationals were held as they tried to illegally enter Turkey, according to another security source.

Acting on a tip, Turkish security forces found 25 Afghan irregular migrants — including women and children — near a bus terminal in the southern Turkish province of Adana, according to the police.

Some 23 migrants — all Afghan and Pakistani nationals — were also held in northwestern Artvin province. While the migrants were held, three people were arrested for suspected human trafficking.

In southeastern Hakkari province, 13 migrants from Afghanistan and Pakistan were also held by gendarmerie units.

All of the migrants were referred to provincial migration offices.

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

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