At least 442 migrants were held during anti-human trafficking operations across Turkey on Monday, according to security sources.
In the northwestern Balikesir province's Ayvalik district, 39 Syrians, including 16 children, were held when they attempted to reach Greek islands, the Turkish Coast Guard Command said in a statement.
The coast guard held 60 more Syrians, including 27 children, from a boat off the Altınova district, it said.
A suspected human trafficker was also arrested.
In the northwestern Edirne province, security forces held 232 migrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Syria, Iraq, Algeria, Palestine, Nepal, and Bangladesh.
They were reportedly trying to reach Europe through illegal routes. In the Aegean Mugla province's Bodrum district, 22 Syrians were held, while in the Mediterranean Fethiye district the coast guard stopped a boatful of 23 people from Syria and Palestine.
Over 4,800 held in one week for terror, drugs in Turkey
Nearly 5,000 suspects have been nabbed in one week across Turkey for terrorism, drug trafficking and smuggling, according to the Interior Ministry Monday.Security forces neutralized 38 terrorists last week in nationwide operations between Nov. 6 and Monday; 16 were killed, 14 detained while eight more surrendered, the ministry’s weekly report said.In total, 1,456 operations were carried out against terrorist organizations; 1,167 suspects were arrested for alleged links with terrorist organizations such the PKK, Daesh, the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) and far-left organizations.Also, 78 shelters and 21 improvised explosives were destroyed during the counter-terrorism operations in eastern and southeastern provinces of Bingol, Bitlis, Erzurum, Hakkari, Van and Muş.Turkish army shoots down bomb-laden PKK droneMore than 100 PKK terrorists killed in Turkey in one weekThe PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- resumed its armed campaign against Turkey in July 2015. Since then, it has been responsible for the deaths of more than 1,200 Turkish security personnel and civilians, including a number of women and children.Ankara accuses FETÖ and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gülen of having orchestrated the defeated coup attempt of July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.Also, security forces seized drugs, smuggled tobacco and fuel during 2,796 anti-narcotics operations across 77 Turkish provinces; 3,682 suspects were also arrested during these operations, according to the statement.As part of cybersecurity operations, legal action was also taken against 173 people.Over 80 illegal migrants held off Turkey's Aegean coastIn a crackdown on illegal migration, 6,890 undocumented migrants -- including 527 in Turkish waters -- were held while 110 suspects who allegedly aided them were arrested, the statement added.In a separate incident, early Monday a soldier was injured in a mine explosion in rural area of Bitlis province, according to the regional governor’s statement.
Over 80 illegal migrants held off Turkey's Aegean coast
At least 83 illegal migrants were held off the Aegean coast of Muğla and Aydın provinces while trying to reach Greece, security officials said Friday.In an operation against illegal migrants in Muğla, Turkish Coast Guard teams held 65 Syrian nationals off Gulluk Bay in Milas district, said a source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on talking to the media.Three others, who are believed to be human traffickers, have also been taken in custody, the source added.In southwestern Aydin province, coast guards held 18 refugees, including Afghan and Syrian nationals, who were trying to reach the Greek islands illegally.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 detained crossing the Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece has fallen 85 percent, according to the Turkish Coast Guard.Over 2,500 undocumented migrants held in TurkeyUN: 100 migrants die in Mediterranean Sea in 4 days
Three human traffickers were also arrested during Mugla operations and later sent to a local court.
An additional of 66 people, including Pakistan, Afghanistan and Senegal nationals, were held in the eastern Turkish province of Elazig, a source from Turkey's gendarmerie forces told Anadolu Agency.
The undocumented migrants were taken to a gendarmerie checkpost in the Kovancilar district 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 held were 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.
Nearly 2,000 refugees per month cross to Greek islands, according to the UNHCR data.
Hundreds of people have died at sea as a number of boats carrying refugees sank. The Turkish Coast Guard has rescued thousands.
Bosphorus Film Festival to focus on refugee crisis
The fifth International Bosphorous Film Festival from Nov.17-26 will focus on the refugee crisis, according to its website on Thursday.A new category ‘A Long March’ was added to the festival program in an attempt to raise awareness on the refugee crisis, the festival’s organizer Ogun Sanlier said in press conference in Istanbul earlier this week.Eight films; three feature films and five short films, focusing entirely on the refugee crisis will compete for the category.Bosnian film director Aida Begic’s ‘Never Leave Me’, which tells the story of three children who fled the war in Syria and sought refuge in southeastern Turkey, will premiere at the festival.Begic will attend the film screening and take questions from the audience.Jupiter’s Moon by Hungarian filmmaker Kornel Mundruczo will also compete for the category. It tells the journey of a 19-year-old Syrian girl and her father who are fleeing from Syria to Hungary.The ‘Taste of Cement’ is a documentary about Syrian construction workers in Beirut, who are building skyscrapers while their houses back home are being bombed.‘Bunkers’ is a documentary on the living conditions of asylum-seekers in underground nuclear bunkers in Switzerland.‘Snack Bar’, a documentary, tells the story of a Greek family running a snack bar on the Greek island of Lesbos.‘Mustafa -- the Imam of Lesvos’ is a documentary based on the life of an Egyptian refugee.The ‘8th Continent’ tells the story of the only resident on the Greek Lesbos Island, which is overflowing with thousands of life jackets left behind by refugees.The ‘Nightshade’ documents the life of a child Tarik, who is helping his father to illegally transfer migrants to the Netherlands.The festival will screen 107 movies from 39 countries.* Sena Guler contributed to this story from Ankara
Over 2,500 undocumented migrants held in Turkey
Turkish security forces held a total of 2,648 migrants in different parts of the country, security officials said on Wednesday.In a statement, Turkish General Staff said Turkish border guards rounded up 1,632 migrants when they attempted to illegally enter Turkey from Syria. Seven others were also found trying to cross into Syria from Turkey, it said.Security forces held 12 more migrants, who were trying to illegally enter Turkey from Iraq and another four for attempting to enter Iran.The statement also said that a total of 171 undocumented migrants were found attempting to cross Turkey-Greece border illegally.Another 575 migrants trying to illegally enter Greece and Bulgaria were held in northwestern Edirne province, a security official told Anadolu Agency. The migrants included Moroccan, Pakistani, Afghan, Egyptian, Syrian and Myanmar nationals.In central Sivas province, gendarmerie caught 126 migrants from a bus, which was stopped at a checkpoint in Akincilar district, a security official, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on talking to the media, told Anadolu Agency.The suspects included 104 Afghan and 22 Pakistani nationals, the official added.In northern Kastamonu province’s Tosya district, security forces stopped an Istanbul-bound bus near Sapaca village and held 121 migrants, including Pakistanis, Afghans and Senegalese, another official told Anadolu Agency.