Over 150 undocumented migrants held in Turkey

Turkey has been main route for refugees trying to cross into Europe especially since onset of Syrian civil war
IZMIR / BITLIS / HATAY / KIRKLARELI, Turkey: At least 177 undocumented migrants were held across Turkey on Tuesday, according to a security source.
A total of 51 undocumented migrants were held in the Aegean Sea off the coast of Dikili, Izmir, said the source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
The source said a rubber boat was stopped and the migrants were brought to shore and later transferred to the provincial migration office.
Separately, in the southeastern Bitlis province’s Ahlat district, 81 undocumented migrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh who were trying to reach Istanbul and Ankara from Agri were held, said another security official.
Another 34 undocumented migrants — all Syrian nationals — were held in Altinozu, Hatay after crossing illegally into Turkey from Syria, said security sources.
In the northwestern province of Kirklareli, gendarme forces held 11 foreign nationals in Malkoclar in the town of Kofcaz.
Turkey has been a main route for refugees trying to cross into Europe, especially since 2011, the beginning of Syria’s civil war.
Among 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.–AA

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