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Over 470 irregular migrants held in Turkey

May 7, 2019 at 8:44 pm

Irregular migrants are brought to Ayvalik Coast Guard Command in Balikesir’s Cunda island after rescued by members of Turkish Coast Guard Command on 19 November, 2018 in Balikesir, Turkey [Hakan Firik/Anadolu Agency]

At least 473 irregular migrants were held in Turkey on Tuesday, according to security sources, reports Anadolu Agency.

In the northwestern Edirne province, gendarmerie forces and border troops launched an operation in Havsa, Ipsala, Meric, and Uzunkopru districts and held 442 irregular migrants, said a source who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

The migrants – including Palestinian, Syrian, Iraqi, Moroccan, and Afghan nationals – were attempting to illegally cross to Europe.

Separately, in an operation in Canakkale, an Aegean province, the gendarmerie held 31 Afghan irregular migrants – including children and women – who were trying to illegally cross to Greece.

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All the migrants were later referred to provincial migration directorates.

Turkey has been the main route for refugees trying to cross to Europe, especially since 2011, the beginning of the Syrian civil war.

Some 268,000 irregular migrants were held in Turkey in 2018, according to the Interior Ministry.