Almost 400 undocumented migrants detained across Turkey

Almost 400 undocumented migrants detained across Turkey

ÇANAKKALE / VAN - Anadolu Agency

At least 391 undocumented migrants have been detained across Turkey, security sources said on Aug. 7.

The sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media, said 45 migrants, including women and children, were rounded up off the coast of Ayvacık by local gendarmerie forces in the northwestern Çanakkale province.

The migrants — all Afghan nationals — were attempting to cross to Greece’s Lesbos island through an illegal route, the sources added.

In a separate operation, the coast guard stopped an inflatable boat carrying some 42 irregular migrants off Ayvacık’s coast.

The migrants — all Afghan nationals — were planning to cross to Lesbos, said the sources.

Another 43 irregular migrants — including Afghan and Pakistani nationals — were detained in Başkale in the eastern Van province.

Later on Aug. 7, 248 migrants were detained in the northwestern Edirne province, sources said.

Also, in southwestern Muğla, 13 irregular migrants from Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan were held, sources added.

All the migrants were later referred to provincial migration authorities.

Turkey has been a main route for refugees trying to cross into Europe, especially since 2011, the beginning of Syria’s civil war.

Among migrants held in 2017 in Turkey, the majority came from Pakistan — around 15,000 — followed by Afghans at around 12,000. Syrians totaled about 10,000.