Around 150 irregular migrants held in Turkey
EDIRNE – Anadolu Agency
Turkish security forces on Dec. 12 held a total of 149 irregular migrants, security sources said.
Turkish gendarmes rounded up 22 irregular migrants in northwestern province of Edirne, said a source on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
The migrants, Pakistani and Bangladeshi nationals, were held in a vehicle. The driver of the vehicle was also arrested.
In another northwestern province of Kırklareli, 12 irregular migrants from Afghanistan and Pakistan were held by gendarmes, another source said, adding a person, who is believed to be the organizer of the human smuggling, was arrested.
In western province of Çanakkale, 56 irregular migrants from Afghanistan and Chad were held by gendarmes as they were trying to reach Lesbos island of Greece. A suspect believed to be the organizer of the human smuggling was also arrested.
The gendarmes also seized a boat, air pump and 15 life jackets during the operation.
In western province of İzmir, Turkish police held 46 irregular migrants from Afghanistan, Iran, Mali and Eritrea in a minibus. A person, identified by the initials N.G. and believed to be an organizer of the human smuggling, was also arrested in the operation.
In the other western province of Balıkesir, Turkish Coast Guard saved 13 irregular migrants - including two minors - from Afghanistan after they were stranded in the Aegean Sea.
The migrants were heading to Lesbos island but their boat’s engine broke down. The migrants on board called Turkish Coast Guard for help.
Turkey has been a main route for irregular migrants trying to cross into Europe, especially since 2011, when the Syrian civil war began.