Turkey: 329 irregular migrants held across country

At least 329 irregular migrants were held across Turkey on Wednesday, according to multiple security sources.

In central Cankiri province, 30 migrants comprising Afghans and Pakistanis attempting to illegally go to Istanbul were held by gendarmerie forces when they stopped a suspicious bus, according to security sources.

The driver and a suspect in the bus were also arrested, the sources said.

Separately, in eastern Bingol province, 195 migrants were detained, according to a statement from the provincial governor's office.

A total of 169 of the migrants were Afghan nationals while 24 was Pakistani, and two others Guinean and Cameroonian.

The coast guard detained 18 Palestinian irregular migrants from a boat off the coast of Aegean Aydin province.

In northwestern Kirklareli province, 12 irregular migrants comprising Afghans, Algerian and Moroccan nationals attempting to illegally cross into Europe were detained by gendarmerie forces.

In eastern Erzincan province, provincial security forces held 30 Afghan and four Pakistan irregular migrants who entered Turkey illegally.

In eastern Van province, security forces stopped a bus on suspicion and held 40 migrants who entered Turkey via illegal methods.

The migrants were composed of 29 Afghans, 11 Pakistanis.

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

Turkey has been the main route for refugees trying to cross into 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