Turkish police catch over 300 migrants in separate operations
ÇORUM - Anadolu Agency
Turkish police captured more than 300 migrants during operations carried out across three provinces on Sept. 26.
A total of 250 migrants were caught inside a truck in the Osmancık district of the Central Anatolian province of Çorum.
Police ordered the driver of the truck to stop after it appeared suspicious, but the driver refused to do so before stopping a kilometer later.
The driver, identified only by the initials A.K., ran away after leaving the truck on the side of a highway.
Among the 250 migrants were nationals of Georgia, Pakistan, Azerbaijan and Afghanistan, according to a local security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media.
The migrants, including more than 50 children and 11 women, were trying to reach Europe, the official said. Among them was a pregnant woman, who was taken to hospital.
The migrants also told the police that there were around 300 people inside the truck. Search to apprehend the remaining 50 migrants and the driver of the truck has been ongoing.
In the eastern province of Erzurum, meanwhile, security forces captured 36 suspects, who illegally crossed into the country from Iran.
Among the suspects were Pakistani and Afghan nationals, another security official said.
In another operation in the northwestern province of Edirne, gendarmerie forces apprehended 30 migrants, including Pakistani and Syrian nationals, who were trying to reach Greece in a minivan.
Turkey and the EU signed a refugee deal in March 2016, which aimed to discourage irregular migration through the Aegean Sea by taking stricter measures against human traffickers and improving the conditions of nearly three million Syrian refugees in Turkey.
Since then, the number of refugees caught crossing the Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece has fallen by 85 percent, according to the Turkish Coast Guard.