Turkish coast guard apprehends more than 40 undocumented migrants in Turkey’s west
The Turkish Coast Guard apprehended 42 undocumented migrants in the western province of İzmir after stopping a rubber boat carrying them, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Dec. 28, citing a security source.
The migrants, including women and children, were caught in İzmir’s Çeşme district after coast guard units stopped the rubber dingy carrying them, planning to head to Greek islands, the report read.
Seven Iraqis and 35 Afghans were among those detained, the agency reported, citing an official who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media.
On Dec. 14, The Turkish Coast Guard rescued at least 68 migrants stranded on a rocky islet in the Aegean Sea.
The migrants were attempting to reach Greek islands when the rubber dinghy carrying them got stuck in the islet near the Dikili district of İzmir, a statement from the Turkish Coast Guard said.
Two helicopters and a boat were dispatched for the operation, Anadolu Agency reported.
Turkey has been a main route for refugees trying to cross into Europe, especially since the beginning of the Syrian civil war.
In recent years, hundreds of thousands of people have made the short but perilous journey across the Aegean to reach Northern and Western Europe.
Many refugees have died at sea when boats carrying them sank.
The Turkish Coast Guard has rescued thousands.
In March 2016, Turkey and the EU signed a deal aiming to discourage irregular migration through the Aegean Sea by enacting stricter measures against human traffickers and improving the living conditions of the three million Syrian refugees in Turkey.
Since then, the number of refugees detained crossing the Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece fell by 85 percent, according to the Turkish Coast Guard.
Statistics show that the total number of Syrian migrants registered with biometric IDs reached 3,208,131 as of Sept. 28.
According to statistics, Istanbul was the most popular destination, with 511,308 Syrians recorded there. The southeastern border province of Şanlıurfa came second with 445,584.