Turkey detains 22 traffickers, over 100 refugees in Aegean Sea

Turkish security forces detain more than 100 foreigners and 22 human traffickers in Mugla for illegally attempting to cross Aegean sea into Greece

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Refugees and migrants board the Turkish Coast Guard Search and Rescue ship Umut-703, off the shores of Canakkale, Turkey, after a failed attempt at crossing to the Greek island of Lesbos, November 9, 2015.

Turkish police said on Monday 104 foreigners detained at the country's south-western corner, on the Aegean Sea, Mugla Province for illegally attempting to cross the Aegean sea, with 22 traffickers.

According to a statement by Mugla Police Department, 11 of the detained 22 have been arrested for human trafficking, five of whom are foreigners.

Among the detained immigrants, there were 48 Syrians, 37 Afghans, 18 Iraqis and one Pakistani nationals, said the police.  Six vessels used for trafficking were also confiscated during the operation.

The operation comes a day after Turkey-EU deal to halt refugee flow to Europe came into effect, as Turkish security forces stepped up efforts to prevent illegal immigration.

The deal, which reached last Friday after a meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and EU member states leaders, is mainly aimed at preventing people smugglers from sending refugees across the Aegean Sea into Greece. And Turkey will accept taking back the refugees who crossed into Greece after March 20.

In return, EU will provide Turkey financial aid, early visa-free travel and progress in its EU membership negotiations.

TRTWorld and agencies