667 migrants arrested in Turkey, including many Iraqi nationals

Refugees and migrants arrive in an overloaded rubber dinghy on the Greek island of Lesbos (Lesvos), Greece, 15 December 2015 after crossing the Aegean Sea from Turkey.EPA/STRINGER

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SULAIMANI – Turkish security forces arrested 667 migrants, mostly Iraqi nationals, in fifteen raids over the last three days, Representative of the Iraqi Migration Federation Rozh Aziz said on Monday (September 2).

Speaking from Turkey, Aziz said that marine security forces conducted six operations in Ayvacik and Canakkale to arrest migrants who were heading to the Greek islands from the Turkish coast.

“Some of the arrested migrants were Kurds. They will be deported to Iraq after investigations,” Aziz added.

Conflict and economic difficulties have pushed thousands of people to attempt the dangerous journey to Europe in the last several years, often through Turkey. Many have drowned in the Aegean as they tried to cross in small boats.

In March 2016, Turkey and the EU signed an agreement designed to reduce illegal migration, under which Ankara pledged to do more to arrest migrants before they make it to EU territory.

(NRT Digital Media)