UPDATE – Over 190 irregular migrants held across Turkey


By Mehmet Yavas and Abdullah Ozkul

CANAKKALE, Turkey (AA) – At least 191 irregular were held across Turkey, security sources said on Thursday.

In the northwestern province of Canakkale, gendarmerie units held 98 irregularmigrants, the sources said on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media.

The migrants, including women and children, were from Afghanistan, the sources added.

Separately, Turkish Coast Guard units held 56 people who were attempting to cross to Greek Islands via a rubber boat in the Aegean province of Mugla's Bodrum district.

Among the migrants were Iraqi, Palestinian, Yemeni, Somali, and Syrian nationals.

In Edirne, a northwestern province, the gendarmerie arrested 14 migrants — Iraqi and Pakistani nationals — after stopping a suspicious vehicle at Meric district. The driver was arrested on human smuggling charges.

In Ulukisla district of central Nigde province, the security forces caught 23 migrants — Afghan and Pakistani nationals — when they stopped a vehicle during security checks.

The driver of the vehicle and another Turkish national were arrested over human smuggling charges.

All of the migrants were referred to the 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.