289 migrants caught off Turkey's Aegean, Mediterranean

Turkish Coast Guards also arrested 7 smugglers

289 migrants caught off Turkey's Aegean, Mediterranean

World Bulletin / News Desk

A total of 289 migrants were apprehended off Turkey’s Aegean and Mediterranean coasts over the past week, interior ministry announced on Sunday.

Between March 3-10 Turkish Coast Guards intercepted 289 migrants in seven separate incidents and arrested seven migrant smugglers, interior ministry’s announcement read.

Separately 178 migrants were apprehended in four incidents in Turkey’s western province Izmir’s Cesme and Seferihisar districts and Turkey’s northwestern Aegean town Ayvalik, the announcement read.

Two search and rescue ships, 71 coast guard boats, 23 coast guard security teams (SAGET), six coastal safety and security search and rescue teams (DEGAK) and 39 control boats have patrolled for 2,197 hours to prevent irregular migration.

Turkey’s five Aegean provinces -- Canakkale, Balikesir, Izmir, Mugla and Aydin -- are prime spots for refugees leaving Turkey for the EU, with Greek islands lying within sight of the Turkish coast.

Over the past years, hundreds of thousands have made short but perilous journeys across the Aegean in a bid to reach northern and Western Europe in search for a better life.

Hundreds of people have died at sea as a number of boats carrying refugees sank or capsized. The Turkish Coast Guard has rescued thousands of others.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 12 Mart 2017, 13:45