TEKIRDAG /ANKARA /SAMSUN, Turkey
At least 38 irregular migrants were held in Turkey on Tuesday, security officials said.
Some 15 migrants traveling in a five-seater vehicle were caught in the northwestern Tekirdag province when security forces stopped their vehicle during controls.
They were then transferred to a provincial migration office following health checks in a hospital.
The vehicle’s driver was also taken into custody for human smuggling.
In the capital Ankara, security forces stopped a bus in the Mamak district and held 11 irregular migrants. Three suspected human smugglers were also taken into custody.
Their deportation procedures are underway, while a judicial procedure has been initiated against the suspected smugglers.
In another operation in the Black Sea province of Samsun, 12 Afghan nationals, who were determined to have entered the country illegally, were held.
Security forces apprehended nine of the irregular migrants after stopping two taxis, while three others carrying fake documents were caught in an intercity bus.
Turkey has been a key transit point for asylum seekers who want to cross into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution.
The country is host to nearly four million refugees, including over 3.6 million Syrians, more than any other country in the world.