By Esber Ayaydin, Huseyin
Over 230 asylum seekers, including Syrian
In western Izmir province, the Coast Guard Command said in a statement on its website that 82 refugees seeking to reach the shores of Europe via two boats were held off Dikili district on Wednesday.
One of the boats was carrying 62 Syrian refugees, including 22 children. The other boat was carrying 20 refugees, including seven children. Both boats were seized.
Two people were also held for human trafficking in Izmir, according to a gendarme source, who wished to stay anonymous due to restrictions on talking to the media.
Turkey and the EU signed a refugee deal in March 2016, which aimed to discourage irregular migration through the Aegean Sea by taking stricter measures against human traffickers and improving the conditions of nearly three million Syrian refugees in Turkey.
Separately, in southern Hatay province, gendarmerie held 47 foreign nationals who entered Turkey illegally, a gendarme source said.
Also, in southwestern Edirne province, another 107 Syrian refugees were held when they made an attempt to illegally cross the border, the source added. Out of the total refugees, 19 were held for disobeying a gendarmerie warning to stop in Hatay’s Kirikhan district, while 18 others were detained for trying to enter Turkey illegally in Yayladag.