UPDATE – Over 675 irregular migrants held in Turkey


By S.Ahmet Aytac

ANKARA (AA) – At least 676 irregular migrants were held on Monday across Turkey, according to security sources.

Acting on a tip, Turkish security forces found over 60 Syrian irregular migrants — including women and children — in a warehouse in the southern Turkish province of Adana, according to police.

While the migrants were held, 11 people were arrested for suspected human trafficking, including four Syrians.

Separately, 140 irregular migrants were held in the city of Ipekyolu in the eastern Van province.

An Anti-Smuggling and Organized Crime team organized an operation to round up 90 Afghan and 50 Pakistani nationals, said a security source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

In Baskale district, security forces held 162 irregular migrants of Afghan and Pakistani nationals.

In the northwestern Tekirdag province, the police nabbed 131 irregular migrants — including Pakistani and Afghan nationals — in a regular patrol in Corlu district.

Later, the gendarmerie rounded up 57 irregular migrants — among them were women and children — in northwestern Canakkale's Ayvacik district.

Separately, the security patrols saw the arrest of 42 Syrian national for an illegal border crossing attempt in Altinozu district of southern Hatay province.

Meanwhile, the Turkish Coast Guard held 84 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.