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Turkey holding 450 undocumented migrants seeking refuge in Europe

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Some 450 undocumented migrants were being held by Turkish authorities across Turkey on Thursday, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported, citing security sources.

In the northwestern province of Edirne, 102 migrants were caught in the Yenikadin, Orhaniye, Bosnakoy and Meric districts, said coast guard sources who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media. 

The migrants were from Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Somalia and Pakistan.

In the northwestern port city of Canakkale, 39 people were rescued from a capsized boat by the Turkish coast guard and held by authorities.

Separately, 302 undocumented migrants — including Afghan, Pakistani and Bangladeshi nationals – were apprehended in the Ipekyolu district of eastern Van province after they attempted to illegally enter Turkey, the sources said.

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

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

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