Turkish authorities detain 276 migrants in smuggling operation
ISTANBUL (TURKEY) – As many as 276 migrants were detained by Turkish police on board a cargo ship docked on the Aegean coast on Tuesday. Police also arrested eight people for trying to smuggle them out of the country.
According to the coastguard, the Turkey vessel had been under the scanner for a long time and migrants were seen boarding the ship in Izmir province on Monday evening.
The raid was carried out by the coastguard and the police. The migrants included people from Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Somalia, said Anadolu news agency.
Coastguard authorities releases photographs showing security forces closely guarding the detainees on the ship.
More than a million migrants reached Greece via Turkey in 2015-16. In 2016, a pact between the EU and Turkey to take back migrants in return for funding led to a fall in numbers.
In February, Turkish authorities said they would not prevent people from crossing into Europe. This made tens of thousands of migrants cross over into Greece via land and sea.
Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday that the government would “continue to implement its decision” regarding migrants who wish to leave the country.
There are some 3.6 million Syrians in Turkey, the world’s largest refugee population.
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field