The Turkish Coast Guard intercepted 679 migrants in the Aegean Sea this week, as part of a four-day operation.

A group of refugees are seen on a boat after being intercepted by the Turkish Coast Guard while they were trying to pass illegally to Greece from Canakkale, Turkey on September 11, 2016.
A group of refugees are seen on a boat after being intercepted by the Turkish Coast Guard while they were trying to pass illegally to Greece from Canakkale, Turkey on September 11, 2016.

The Turkish Coast Guard intercepted 679 refugees in the Aegean Sea as part of an operation launched between September 12 and 15, Izmir Governorate said in a statement on Saturday.

The operation was conducted in the southern provinces of Izmir, Aydin, Canakkale and Mugla.

Refugees dreaming of a better future in Europe frequently attempt to make short but perilous sea journeys across the Aegean.

According to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), of the more than one million refugees who arrived in the EU last year, more than 850,000 arrived by sea to Greece from Turkey.

At least 800 people, however, died in the Aegean over the course of the year.

A group of refugees wait after they were intercepted by the Turkish Coast Guard while they were trying to pass illegally to the Greek island of Lesbos from Ayvacik's Kucukkuyu town in Canakkale, Turkey on September 11, 2016. (AA)
A group of refugees wait after they were intercepted by the Turkish Coast Guard while they were trying to pass illegally to the Greek island of Lesbos from Ayvacik's Kucukkuyu town in Canakkale, Turkey on September 11, 2016. (AA)

The number of refugees travelling from Turkey to Europe across sea routes dropped by 90 percent from March to August, when Turkey and the European Union signed a readmission deal aimed at stemming the flow of refugees into the continent.

But, according to figures provided by Turkey's Anadolu Agency, it has recently increased, especially since mid-August.

Last month, over 1,500 refugees were intercepted by the Turkish Coast Guard.

Since the beginning of 2016, Turkey has intercepted at least 27,000 refugees.

Source: TRT World