Over 550 undocumented migrants held across Turkey

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At least 557 undocumented migrants have been held in anti-human trafficking operations across Turkey on Friday, security officials said.

In the northwestern province of Edirne, border guards and gendarme rounded up 453 migrants, who were attempting to illegally travel abroad, in Uzunkopru, Ipsala and Meric districts.

Among the migrants were Syrian, Pakistani, Afghan and Iraqi people.

In Canakkale, another northwestern province, gendarme held 27 migrants — including women and children — in Ayvacik district when they were abandoned on the roadside on their way to Greek Island of Lesbos.

The migrants included Syrians, Malian and Sierra Leonean nationals.

In Aegean Izmir province, police arrested 27 more Syrian nationals, including women and children, on Izmir-Aliaga highway.

Separately, gendarme held 50 Afghan in eastern Van province. All the migrants were referred to the provincial migration offices.

Turkey has been a main route for refugees trying to cross into Europe, especially since the beginning of the civil war in Syria.

Among migrants held in 2017 in Turkey, the majority came from Pakistan — around 15,000 — followed by Afghans at around 12,000. Syrians totalled about 10,000.

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