Over 230 undocumented migrants held in western Turkey
ÇANAKKALE - Anadolu Agency
At least 233 undocumented migrants have been held in western and northwestern Turkish provinces, according to security sources on June 27.
A total of 111 migrants, including women and children, were rounded up off Çanakkale province's Ayvacık district on an inflatable boat.
The migrants -- among them Afghans, Iranians and Moroccans -- were attempting to cross into Greece’s Lesbos Island using an illegal route, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media.
Thirty more undocumented migrants were held by police in the northwestern province of Tekirdağ while they were attempting to illegally cross the Turkish border, another source said.
The migrants were all Pakistani nationals, the source added.
Separately, 29 Pakistani and Syrian nationals, including women and children, were caught in two trucks in the Meriç district of northwestern Edirne province.
In western İzmir province, coast guards rounded up 63 foreign nationals, who were traveling in a boat off Seferihisar district's coast, the sources said.
There were eight children among the migrants.
The migrants were sent to the migration authorities in the provinces for legal proceedings of their deportation.
Turkey has been a main route for refugees 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.