Nearly 350 irregular migrants held across Turkey

At least 344 irregular migrants were held across Turkey on Friday, according to multiple security sources.

In the northwestern Edirne province -- bordering Greece and Bulgaria -- gendarmerie forces held 19 irregular migrants, said a source on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

Separately, the Coast Guard held 23 irregular migrants on a rubber boat off the coast of Edirne's Enez district.

In another northwestern province Kirklareli, gendarmerie forces nabbed 30 irregular migrants.

Meanwhile, 21 irregular migrants were held by the police in the northwestern Tekirdag province.

Some 52 irregular migrants, who were trying to cross Greece, were held by the Turkish Coast Guard off the coast of Canakkale in the Aegean region.

In another Canakkale operation, 19 irregular migrants aboard rubber boats were rescued by the Turkish Coast Guard when a boat broke down off the coast of Ayvacik district.

The Coast Guard also held 59 irregular migrants on a rubber boat in the Aegean province of Izmir.

In another operation, 95 irregular migrants -- who reportedly entered Turkey illegally -- held in the Mediterranean Osmaniye province.

Separately, police arrested 26 irregular migrants in the central Nigde province during regular patrols.

Two people were also arrested over the suspicion of human smugglers.

All of the migrants were later referred to provincial migration directorates.

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

Some 268,000 irregular migrants were held in Turkey in 2018, according to the Interior Ministry. The migrants were mostly Afghan, Pakistani, Syrian and Iraqi nationals.

Source: Anadolu Agency