Turkey: 329 irregular migrants held across country

            By Muhammed Kaygın, Aydın Arık and Necat Hazar <br> <br> ANKARA (AA) - At least 329 irregular migrants were held across Turkey on Wednesday, according to multiple security sources.</p>  <p>In central Cankiri province, 30 migrants comprising Afghans and Pakistanis attempting to illegally go to Istanbul were held by gendarmerie forces when they stopped a suspicious bus, according to security sources.</p>  <p>The driver and a suspect in the bus were also arrested, the sources said.</p>  <p>Separately, in eastern Bingol province, 195 migrants were detained, according to a statement from the provincial governor's office.</p>  <p>A total of 169 of the migrants were Afghan nationals while 24 was Pakistani, and two others Guinean and Cameroonian.</p>  <p>The coast guard detained 18 Palestinian irregular migrants from a boat off the coast of Aegean Aydin province.</p>  <p>In northwestern Kirklareli province, 12 irregular migrants comprising Afghans, Algerian and Moroccan nationals attempting to illegally cross into Europe were detained by gendarmerie forces.</p>  <p>In eastern Erzincan province, provincial security forces held 30 Afghan and four Pakistan irregular migrants who entered Turkey illegally. </p>  <p>In eastern Van province, security forces stopped a bus on suspicion and held 40 migrants who entered Turkey via illegal methods. </p>  <p>The migrants were composed of 29 Afghans, 11 Pakistanis. </p>  <p>All of the migrants were later referred to provincial migration directorates.</p>  <p>Turkey has been the main route for refugees trying to cross into Europe, especially since the beginning of the civil war in Syria.</p>  <p>Some 268,000 irregular migrants were held in Turkey in 2018, according to the Interior Ministry.</p>  <p>The migrants were mostly Afghan, Pakistani, Syrian and Iraqi nationals.</p>  <p> </p>  <p>*Kemal Ozdemir, Ozgun Tiran and Ferdi Uzun contributed to the story<br> <br>     *Writing by Zehra Nur Düz </p>  <p>