Nearly 400 undocumented migrants captured in southern and eastern Turkey
MERSİN – Anadolu Agency
At least 397 undocumented migrants, including women and children, were captured in southern and eastern Turkey, security sources said on March 18.
Turkish Coast Guards detained 165 Syrians traveling in a boat on the Mediterranean Sea, said the sources, who refused to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
The migrants included 63 children and 30 women. Following their interrogation, the coast guards detained 27 other foreigners. A van driver suspected of human smuggling was also arrested.
In the eastern Erzurum province, police detained 205 Afghan and Pakistani nationals. The undocumented migrants had entered Turkey illegaly from Iran, a security source said.
Separately, the Turkish General Staff said in a statement on Sunday that a total of 696 undocumented migrants were held across the country during operations carried out on March 17.
Border security units detained 623 migrants who were trying to cross into Turkey from Syria, the statement said, adding that another 14 migrants, who were trying to cross into Turkey from Iran, had been rounded up.
Moreover, 49 people who were trying to cross into Greece from Turkey were held by the Turkish army, while another 10 were detained attempting to cross into Turkey from Greece, the statement said.
Turkey has been the main route for migrants trying to cross into Europe, especially since the beginning of the civil war in Syria.