Over 250 irregular migrants held across Turkey

By Hanife Erdinc

CANAKKALE, Turkey (AA) – At least 251 irregular migrants were held across Turkey, security sources said on Tuesday.

In the northwestern province of Canakkale's Ayvacik district, a total of 88 Afghan and Iraqi nationals, including women and children, were rounded up by coast guards, said a security source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

Separately, in the northwestern Kirklareli province, gendarmerie forces held 76 migrants of Pakistani and Afghan nationality attempting to illegally cross into Europe.

Security units in eastern Van province, 46 migrants — all Afghan nationals — were rounded up during a regular road patrol, said another source.

Driver of the vehicle was arrested over human trafficking.

Also, the Turkish Coast Guard held 41 irregular migrants in western Izmir province after spotting a rubber boat carrying them off Dikili district.

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.