Turkish coast guard detains 1,300 migrants on northwestern sea border
Turkish coast guard detains 1,300 refugees off the coast of Çanakkale province. AA PhotoSome 1,300 migrants were detained off the coast of northwestern Çanakkale province as they attempted to reach the nearby Greek island of Lesbos on Nov. 29, Turkish coast guard officials have said.
The Turkish coast guard made the detentions after carrying out simultaneous operations at eight different locations. Those held included Syrians, Afghans, Iraqis and Iranians, Anadolu Agency reported.
During the operation, the dead body of an unidentified male migrant was also retrieved.
Three alleged traffickers were detained during the operations, while one gun, four boats and six boat engines were seized, Doğan News Agency reported.
The operations were conducted by around 250 gendarmerie officers on Nov. 29. Around 1,300 migrants who were detained during the operations were sent to the deportation center in Çanakkale’s Ayvacık, which has a capacity of only 84 persons.
According to the International Organization for Migration, more than 220,000 people arrived in Greece by sea in October and more than 220 persons died in the waters between Turkey and Greece that month.
Since the start of the year, the organization has recorded 653,075 people arriving in Greece and 512 deaths in the Aegean region.
Geographically located between war-torn Syria and Iraq in the southeast and the European Union member states of Bulgaria and Greece in the northwest, Turkey has come to be a transition point for foreign migrants looking to illegally cross into the EU in an endeavor to flee the violence in Iraq and Syria as well as have a higher standard of living.
The wave of migration across the Aegean Sea, however, has sometimes resulted in injuries and even deaths due to either the capsizing of migrant-carrying boats or abuse of migrants by human traffickers.
The number of migrants saved after making failed attempts to cross via sea from Turkey into Europe has increased by over 500 percent in 2015 compared to last year.