Nearly 400 irregular migrants held across Turkey

At least 396 irregular migrants were held across Turkey on Sunday, security sources said.

A total of 325 irregular migrants were held by gendarmerie forces in the eastern province of Van, bordering Iran, a source said on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

Entering Turkey illegally, migrants were held in two different operations, the source added.

Separately in central Kayseri province police held 32 irregular migrants, from Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The Turkish Coast Guard intercepted 39 irregular migrants in a rubber boat off the coast of Aegean Aydin province.

All the migrants were later referred to provincial migration directorates.

On Friday, nine irregular migrants drowned off the Aegean coast of Balikesir, the Turkish Coast Guard said.

They rescued five irregular migrants during the operation and recovered nine bodies; four women and five children.

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.

Source: Anadolu Agency