By Safak Yel, Ozgun Tiran and Necat Hazar
UPDATES WITH MORE MIGRANTS HELD
IZMIR/KIRKLARELI/VAN, Turkey (AA) – A total of 351 irregular migrants were held across Turkey on Monday, security sources said.
Coastal Guard units in the Aegean province of Izmir identified three dinghies carrying 139 irregular migrants from various countries trying to cross to the Greek Islands, said a source who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
Security forces also intercepted 44 additional migrants — including Syrian, Palestinian and Iraqi nationals — in the same province, another source said.
Separately, gendarmerie forces in the northwestern province of Kirklareli held 32 irregular migrants when they were preparing to illegally cross the border into Bulgaria.
In the eastern province of Van, security patrols caught 136 migrants in two separate operations. Two suspects were arrested on alleged human smuggling charges.
In addition, a total of 429 migrants, mostly Syrians, were detained by security forces in Izmir province on Aug. 17-26.