At least 160 Syrians were held in the Aegean province of Izmir when they attempted to cross into Greece using an illegal route on Friday, according to a security official.
The detentions were made after gendarmerie teams in Izmir carried out five operations in Cesme and Dikili districts of the city.
All of them were transferred to migration management authorities.
A total of 52 lifejackets, a van, a boat motor and three dinghies were also seized.
Turkey has been a major route for people trying to cross into Europe, especially since the start of the civil war in Syria. Until an agreement with the EU came into force in March last year, hundreds drowned while trying to reach Greece from Turkish shores.
Turkey rescues over 40 undocumented migrants in Aegean
The Turkish Coast Guard on Thursday rescued 41 undocumented migrants when an inflatable boat carrying them was at risk of drowning in the Aegean Sea near Foca district of Izmir.In a statement, the Turkish Coast Guard said the migrants included women and children, who were trying to reach Greek Islands using an illegal route.A coast guard helicopter was also used to help a migrant who had fallen into the sea.The others were transferred to safety in boats, the statement said.Among the rescued people were 13 Afghans, eight Syrians, six Sierra Leoneans, six Angolans, three Eritreans, two Malians, an Iraqi, a Somali and a Comorian.Turkey has been a main route for refugees trying to cross into Europe, especially since the beginning of the civil war in Syria.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 have died at sea as a number of boats carrying refugees sank. The Turkish Coast Guard has rescued thousands.In March 2016, Turkey and the EU signed a deal which aimed to discourage irregular migration through the Aegean Sea by taking stricter measures against human traffickers and improving the conditions of some 3 million Syrian refugees in Turkey.Since then, the number of refugees held while trying to cross the Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece has fallen by 85 percent, according to the Turkish Coast Guard.
27 undocumented migrants held in SE Turkey
At least 27 undocumented migrants have been held in Turkey’s southeastern province of Hatay, security forces said Thursday.They spotted a group of people who crossed into Turkey from Syria during a routine check near the border.The migrants, all Syrian nationals, have been transferred to the migration management authorities.
195 undocumented migrants held in Turkey
Security forces held 195 undocumented migrants across Turkey, officials said Wednesday.In northwestern Edirne province, 160 undocumented migrants were held, according to a security source who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restriction on speaking to the media.The source said that the migrants were Syrian, Palestinian, Bangladeshi, Afghan, Algerian, Moroccan, Iraqi, Spanish and Nepalese nationals.The migrants were transferred to the migration management authorities.In a separate operation in the eastern province of Van another 35 undocumented migrants, who illegally crossed into Turkey, were rounded up.The Afgan nationals were held in the Baskale district of Van.They were referred to the local migration management authorities.In the last 10 years, Edirne has seen a rise in migrants from Pakistan, Syria, Palestine, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Morocco, Iran and Iraq. In 2017 alone, 50,000 migrants and refugees from 50 different countries have been held by Turkish security units.There has been a 60 percent increase in migrant flow since 2016. The number was 31,000 in 2016.