UPDATE – Over 650 irregular migrants held in Turkey

UPDATES WITH MORE MIGRANTS IN MUGLA

By Sibel Ugurlu

ANKARA (AA) – At least 677 migrants were held on Saturday across Turkey, according to security sources.

In the northwestern Edirne province, a total of 313 migrants were held during gendarmerie patrols in several districts.

Separately, in the northwestern Kirklareli province, security forces held 78 people attempting to illegally cross into Europe.

In a separate operation, in Dikili in the Aegean Izmir province, 51 irregular migrants from Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, Ghana, and Eritrea were held.

They were spotted in a rubber boat off Dikili trying to cross to Greece.

A total of 28 Afghan and Palestinian nationals, including women and children, were rounded up in Ayvacik in the northwestern province of Canakkale.

In Baskale, Ipekyolu and Ercis in the eastern Van province, 147 migrants were held by local gendarmerie forces.

In Ayvalik in the northwestern Balikesir province, gendarmerie units rounded up seven Afghan nationals.

In Seydikemer in the southern Mugla province, acting on a tip about a group of foreign nationals who got off a bus to walk through the forest, gendarmerie forces held a total of 53 migrants, including Somali, Iranian, Iraqi, Palestinian, Syrian and Afghan nationals.

A suspect was also arrested on human smuggling charges.

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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