Over 180 irregular migrants held in Turkey

Baku, August 4, AZERTAC

Turkish security forces nationwide on Saturday held at least 182 irregular migrants attempting to cross into Europe, Anadolu Agency reported.

According to statements by the coast guard and gendarmerie forces, irregular migrants were held in the Aegean Sea coast region and various other locales.

Well over 100 of the irregular migrants were held in the Aegean region while attempting to cross to Europe via Greece, most of them from Afghanistan or Iran.

Seventy were held in the Aegean Izmir province. Turkish Coast Guard units saved a group of 15 Afghans before their sinking rubber boat went beneath the waves.

In a separate operation, security forces tipped off about 41 irregular migrants in the Aegean Aydin province trying to illegally cross to Europe intercepted the group.

In the Eastern Kars province, bordering Armenia, security guards caught 34 irregular migrants after their illegal entry into Turkey and referred them to the nearest deportation center.

After the operations by security authorities, all of the irregular migrants were taken to the nearest health facilities, followed by their referral to provincial migration offices.

Among the many nationalities of the 182 irregular migrants were Syrians, Libyans, Afghans, Iraqis, Iranians, Palestinians, Pakistanis, and nationals of various African countries.

Turkey has been a main route for irregular migrants trying to cross to Europe, especially since 2011, when the Syrian civil war began.

Last year some 260,000 irregular migrants were held in Turkey, according to the Interior Ministry.

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