Over 400 migrants detained in anti-trafficking ops across Turkey: Sources
BALIKESİR – Anadolu Agency
In the coastal Ayvalık district of the northwestern province of Balıkesir, 39 Syrians, including 16 children, were detained before allegedly attempting to reach Greek islands, the Turkish Coast Guard Command said in a statement.
The coast guard also detained 60 more Syrians, including 27 children, from a boat off the Altınova district, it added.
A suspected human trafficker was also arrested in the operations.
In the northwestern border province of Edirne, security forces detained a total of 232 migrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Syria, Iraq, Algeria, Palestine, Nepal and Bangladesh, who were believed to be preparing to reach Europe through illegal routes.
Meanwhile, in the southwestern province of Muğla’s Bodrum district 22 Syrians were detained and in the Fethiye district the coast guard halted a boatful of 23 people from Syria and Palestine.
Three human traffickers were arrested during the Muğla operations and later sent to a local court.
In the eastern Turkish province of Elazığ some 66 people - including Pakistan, Afghanistan and Senegal nationals - were detained, according to a source from the gendarmerie forces.
The undocumented migrants were taken to a gendarmerie checkpost in the Kovancılar district of Elazığ after illegally entering from Iran, said the source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
All the migrants were then sent to regional immigration departments.
In recent years hundreds of thousands of people have made the short but perilous journey across the Aegean to reach northern and western Europe.
At present around 2,000 refugees per month cross to Greek islands, according to UNHCR data.