Turkey detains nearly 300 'illegal refugees' in nationwide crackdown

Turkey detains nearly 300 'illegal refugees' in nationwide crackdown
Turkish security forces detained just under 300 refugees it says were staying in the country illegally, in the latest nationwide raids.
2 min read
05 November, 2017
The refugees were holding temporary residence certificates, authorities said [AFP]

Just under 300 foreign nationals were detained by Turkish authorities for illegally remaining in the country, security sources said on Saturday.

Sixty-six Syrians, including women and children, were among those held during police raids in 13 hotels in Bodrum.

Thirty-five Afghan migrants in a boat in the Aegean Sea were also held by Turkish coast guard teams in south-western Mugla province.

Security sources said the migrants had ignored police warnings to stop off the Akyarlar Bay in Bodrum district.

They were holding temporary residence certificates in Istanbul, Izmir, Gaziantep and Kahramanmaras provinces and were planning to cross into Europe illegally, sources added.

Meanwhile, in the northern Karabuk province, the gendarmerie forces rounded up 78 migrants, including women and children, who had allegedly entered Turkey illegally.

Forty-nine of those detained during a raid on a passenger bus travelling from northern Kastamonu province to northwestern Kocaeli province were Afghans, 23 others Pakistanis and six Myanmar nationals, sources said.

Forty eight others, including Iranian nationals, were held in the northern Cankiri province during a road check, sources said.

Turkish gendarmerie held 18 foreign nationals including Syrians and Eritreans during a road check in Ipsala district, during another operation in the northwestern province of Edirne, bordering Greece and Bulgaria.

An additional five undocumented Syrian nationals were caught during a road check.

Turkey's state news agency Anadolu reported all of the migrants were referred to the Migration Management Authority in the related provinces for legal proceedings.

Turkey is hosting more than 2.7 million Syrian refugees in the country who have fled a six-year conflict that has killed over 310,000 people. Less than a tenth live in refugee camps, the rest in Turkish cities.

However, a change in policy has seen Turkey seal its border since last year, causing further bloodshed. In 2016, at least 163 Syrians were killed by Turkish guards while trying to enter clandestinely to claim asylum.