ADDS MORE MIGRANTS HELD
By Cansu Dikme and Fatih Hafiz Mehmet
ANKARA (AA) - A total of 603 undocumented migrants were held in Turkey on Thursday, according to police and gendarmerie sources.
Out of the total, 183 migrants -- including Iraqi, Syrian and Yemeni nationals -- were rounded up in Dikili district of western Izmir province when they were attempting to illegally cross into Greece.
An Azerbaijani citizen, identified by the initials Q.G., 30, was remanded in custody for taking part in organizing the illegal crossing.
Separately, police rounded up 178 migrants -- including children -- from a truck in eastern province of Erzincan. The migrants included Pakistani and Afghan nationals.
In western Edirne province, the border forces and gendarmerie forces detained 242 migrants -- including Syrian, Chinese, Pakistani, Afghan, Moroccan, Bangladeshi, Eritrean, Palestinian and Libyan nationals -- who were trying to go abroad.
Turkey has been a main route for refugees trying to cross into Europe, especially since the beginning of the civil war in Syria.
Among migrants held in the course of 2017 in Turkey, most came from Pakistan -- around 15,000 -- followed by Afghans at around 12,000. Syrians totaled about 10,000.
There has been a 60 percent increase in migrant flow since 2016. The number was 31,000 in 2016.