More than 210 migrants held across Turkey
İZMİR / KIRKLARELİ – Anadolu Agency
Some 215 migrants were held across Turkey, security sources said on Aug. 27.
Coast Guard patrols identified three dinghies carrying 139 migrants from various countries trying to cross to the Greek Islands.
Security forces intercepted 44 additional migrants from Syria, Palestine and Iraq near the western province of İzmir.
Separately, 32 irregular migrants were held in the province of Kırklareli on the European side.
Provincial Gendarmerie forces caught three groups preparing to illegally cross the western border to Bulgaria.
Turkey has been the main route for irregular migrants trying to cross into Europe, especially since 2011 when the Syrian civil war began.
Among the 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.
There has been a 60 percent increase in migrant flow since 2016. The number was 31,000 in 2016.