184 irregular migrants held across Turkey

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BITLIS/ANKARA/VAN/OSMANIYE, Turkey

At least 184 irregular migrants were held across Turkey, authorities and security sources said on Friday.

In the eastern Bitlis province, 29 irregular migrants who entered Turkey illegally were found on a bus stopped for a search in the Tatvan district.

One alleged human trafficker was also arrested, according to the provincial governor’s office.

A total of 39 irregular migrants – all of them Afghan nationals – were held in three districts of Turkey’s capital Ankara, security sources said.

They were transferred to the provincial migration directorate and will be deported, according to the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

In the eastern Van province, 112 irregular migrants were found on a truck stopped for a search in the Muradiye district, the city governorate said.

The individuals, who hail from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, were shifted to the provincial migration directorate.

The truck driver was arrested, the authority said.

Four more Afghan nationals were held during a security check at an intercity bus terminal in Turkey’s southern Osmaniye province. 

Four people suspected of smuggling the irregular migrants into Turkey were arrested.

Turkey has been a key transit point for irregular migrants who want to cross into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution.

It hosts nearly 4 million refugees, including more than 3.6 million Syrians, the most for any country in the world.

* Writing by Havva Kara Aydin

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