Middle East 66 undocumented migrants held in western Turkey

66 undocumented migrants held in western Turkey

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Migrants rounded up in Aydin and Izmir provinces

At least 66 undocumented migrants, including children, were held across Turkey, security sources said on Sunday. 

Twenty-three migrants were rounded up in Kusadasi district of the Aegean province of Aydin as they were preparing to illegally cross into another country, said the sources, who asked not to be named due to media restrictions. 

Ten of the undocumented migrants were children, the sources said. One person was arrested on charges of human smuggling.

In Urla town of western Izmir province, 43 migrants from Syria, Palestine, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia were rounded up off Demirci Bay in a dinghy in the Aegean Sea.

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.