Over 80 irregular migrants held across Turkey

More than 80 irregular migrants were held across Turkey, security sources said on Wednesday.

The Turkish Coast Guard rounded up 50 irregular migrants, including 44 Palestinians and six Syrians, from a rubber boat off the coast of Kusadasi in the Aegean province of Aydin.

Separately, 19 others, including 17 Afghans and two Syrians, were held on a fishing boat off the coast of Ayvalik in the northwestern Balikesir province, said a security source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

The migrants reportedly planned to reach Greece through the Aegean Sea.

Two human smugglers were arrested in the operation.

In another operation in Edirne's Havsa district, bordering Bulgaria and Greece, 14 irregular migrants -- Palestinian, Egyptian, Afghan, Israeli, and Syrian nationals -- who illegally entered Turkey were rounded up.

All the migrants were referred to provincial migration directorates.

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

Over 265,000 irregular migrants were held in Turkey in 2018, according to the Interior Ministry.

Source: Anadolu Agency