More than 170 Syrians held in western Turkey’s Balıkesir
A total of 171 Syrians have been held since Oct. 22 following two separate operations in the western province of Balıkesir, staged after they tried to travel to European countries via illegal routes, the Balıkesir Governor’s Office stated on Oct. 23.
The governor’s office stated that gendarmerie forces in the Küçükköy district found 47 Syrians, including 21 children, inside a minivan on Oct. 23 in the Badavut Tekev region.
Two suspects have been detained for organizing the illegal crossing attempt, the statement added.
In another operation on Oct. 22, the Küçükköy gendarme halted 124 Syrians, including 61 children, in the same region after they tried to cross to the Greek island of Lesbos via an illegal route, the statement also said.
All of the held Syrians were reportedly sent to Balıkesir’s provincial immigration authority office.
Hundreds of thousands of people have made the short but perilous journey across the Aegean from Turkey to Greece, en route to northern and western Europe, in recent years.
Nearly 2,000 refugees cross over to Greek islands every month, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency, while hundreds of people have died at sea.