311 undocumented migrants apprehended by Turkish officials

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AFP PHOTO

A total of 311 undocumented migrants were apprehended in western Turkey on Tuesday according to security sources, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

In the northwestern province of Edirne, 144 migrants were caught in the Bosnaköy, İpsala, Meriç and Uzunköprü districts, said coast guard sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

The migrants were from Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine and Algeria.

Separately, the coast guard apprehended 46 foreigners who were traveling in a boat off western Izmir province’s Dikili district, the sources said.

In İzmir’s Urla district, another 44 undocumented migrants were taken into custody.

In the northwestern port city of Çanakkale, 38 migrants were rescued by the coast guard from a sinking rubber dinghy.

In the western Aydın province, the coast guard found 61 migrants, including 28 children, in a dinghy off Kuşadası.

Turkey has been a main route for refugees trying to cross into Europe, especially since 2011 when the Syrian civil war began.

Among the migrants held in 2017 in Turkey, the majority came from Pakistan — around 15,000 — followed by Afghans at around 12,000. Syrians totaled about 10,000. There has been a 60 percent increase in migrant flow since 2016. The number was 31,000 in 2016.

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