World Bulletin / News Desk
Coast guards apprehended 87 Afghan migrants, including women and children, in the northwestern province of Canakkale's Ayvacik district, a security source said on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media.
In a separate operation, gendarmerie units in Canakkale's Ayvacik district rounded up 48 migrants -- Afghan, Iraqi, Iranian and Congolese nationals -- near forest area.
Some 29 migrants -- all Afghan nationals -- were also rounded up during regular patrols by gendarmerie units in southeastern Diyarbakir's Ergani district.
Separately, Turkish Coast Guard patrols identified a dinghy carrying 12 migrants -- six Syrian and six Palestinian nationals -- off Mugla province’s Bodrum district trying to cross to Greek islands.
Gendarmerie units in the Mediterranean southwestern Antalya province held 11 migrants -- Afghan and Pakistani nationals.
The security forces also arrested one suspect of Palestinian nationality on charges of human smuggling.
Turkey has been a main route for refugees trying to cross into Europe, especially since 2011, the beginning of Syria's civil war.
Among 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.