Nearly 800 irregular migrants held across Turkey

Nearly 800 irregular migrants held across Turkey

Nearly 800 irregular migrants held across Turkey

At least 782 irregular migrants were held across Turkey, local authorities said on Aug. 20. 

Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya said on Twitter that 436 irregular migrants, including 170 Afghan nationals, were held in 16 districts on Thursday.

They were handed over to the local migration office for deportation procedures, he added.

Meanwhile, acting on a tip, 32 irregular migrants - who were pushed back by the Greek Coast Guard into Turkish territorial waters - were rescued in a rubber boat off the coast of the Çeşme district in western Izmir province.

Another coast guard team was dispatched off the Urla district in Izmir after learning that a group of asylum seekers had been stranded on a boat.

As a result, 90 irregular migrants and two alleged human traffickers were held by coast guard teams, said a source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

They were later taken to the provincial migration office.

Another group of irregular migrants who were pushed back by Greek elements into Turkey's territorial waters were rescued off Kuşadası in the Aegean Aydin province.

That was after Coast Guard teams were dispatched to rescue 99 migrants traveling on life rafts and rubber boats.

The irregular migrants were transferred to the provincial migration office after routine procedures.

Thirty-five more irregular migrants, including 33 Afghan and two Pakistani nationals were held in the Gölbaşı district of the capital, Ankara.

Consisting of mostly women and children, the migrants, who entered the country through illegal means, were taken to the local repatriation center.

Legal actions were taken by prosecutors in Gölbaşı against three suspects identified as S.I., B.C. and U.I. for organizing human trafficking.

As many as 78 irregular migrants were held by the police in Ipekyolu in eastern Van province, the provincial security directorate said in a statement.

The irregular migrants were held by anti-migrant smuggling teams during a check of a suspected building and were transferred to the local repatriation center.

Two people were arrested on suspicion of organizing the smuggling.

Turkey has been a key transit point for asylum seekers who want to cross into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution.

Turkey, which already hosts 4 million refugees, more than any country in the world, is taking new security measures within and on its borders to prevent a fresh influx of migrants.