Turkish security forces detained 94 Syrian refugees who were trying to cross illegally into Europe from Turkey’s western province of Izmir.
Upon receiving a tip, the police officers intercepted the refugees, including children, as they were waiting in four different vehicles.
Police officers also found several life jackets and life buoys, along with hand pumps for a boat during their search of the vehicles.
Over the incident, 6 people who were accused of organizing the plan were detained, while two of them were reported to be arrested later.
Moreover, Turkish gendarmerie forces caught 534 people of varied nationalities, aiming to cross into Greece and Europe from western Turkish province of Canakkale.
Turkey is a transit point for refugees aiming to reach European countries from Syria, because of its location bridging the Middle East and Europe.
Syrian refugees escaping violence, fled their country in large numbers following the escalation of the Syrian civil war.
One of their most preferred destinations was neighbouring Turkey, which hosts over 2 million Syrian refugees, more than any other country, according to United Nations registration records.
Meanwhile, The European Union on Thursday offered Turkey almost €3 billion in aid, easier travel visas along with “re-energised” talks over joining the EU, in return, the EU asks for Turkey's help to stop the flow of refugees. Additionally, EU and Turkey have also agreed on stricter measures regarding border control to slow the influx of refugees.
In response to that, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said in a conference on Friday that the European Union (EU), has been late in recognising Turkey’s significant role in slowing the refugee flow from Syria to Europe.
Accordingly, Turkish Foreign Minister, Feridun Sinirlioglu said on Friday that ‘’the action plan’’ agreed with the EU late on Thursday is "not final" and merely a draft on which they are working on.
He added that "There is a financial package proposed by the EU and we told them it is unacceptable because Turkey needed at least 3 billion euros ($3.4 bn) in the first year of the agreement.’’