By Safak Yel
IZMIR, Turkey (AA) - At least 251 irregular migrants were held in Izmir province on Turkey’s Aegean coast, security sources said early Friday.
The migrants -- who attempted to illegally cross into Europe aboard rubber boats -- were held by the Turkish Coast Guard.
The irregular migrants -- from Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Palestine, Iraq and Yemen -- were later referred to the provincial migration directorate.
Security forces also arrested one alleged human smuggler.
Turkey has been the main route for refugees trying to cross into Europe, especially since the beginning of the Syrian civil war in 2011.
Some 268,000 irregular migrants were held in Turkey in 2018, according to the Interior Ministry.
*Writing by Busra Nur Bilgic Cakmak