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330 illegal immigrants caught off the coast of Turkey

January 20, 2015 at 1:00 pm

The Turkish coastguards intercepted a ship carrying 333 people, mostly Syrians bound for the European Union, in the Mediterranean Sea, officials informed the Anadolu Agency yesterday.

During an operation employing over 300 coastguard personnel, the commercial ship was captured in international waters off Turkey’s Mersin port, near Syria.

1.7m Syrians are seeking refuge in Turkey

The coastguards said the immigrants were taken to Mersin after the operation on Sunday night.

Four Turks and 11 Syrians were arrested suspected of smuggling, according to the agency.

The ship, which was believed to have been heading for Italy, was taken back to Mersin.

Turkey is considered a major point of transit for immigrants seeking a better life in Europe.