World Bulletin / News Desk
In the eastern Erzurum province, security units have held 131 undocumented migrants found in a truck at the Askale patrolling point on Erzurum-Erzincan roadway.
The truck driver, identified by the initials G.B., was arrested at the scene on charges of human smuggling.
Separately, 101 undocumented migrants -- including Afghan and Pakistani nationals -- were rounded up in Baskale district of the eastern Van province, according to a statement by provincial gendarmerie command.
Migrants include 14 women and 11 children.
Also in Erzincan, an eastern Turkish province, gendarmerie held 55 undocumented migrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh in a van during road controls.
The migrants told security units that each person had paid 3,000 Turkish liras ($624) in order to be taken to Istanbul. The 38-year old driver, identified as Aytac Y., was arrested at the scene.
In central Anatolian province of Kirsehir, 48 undocumented migrants were held by security units during road controls at Ankara-Kayseri highway.
Migrants included 35 Afghans, 11 Pakistanis and two Myanmar nationals. They said they had paid $1,500-5,500 per person.
They were brought into Iran by air from their country of origin and said they had illegally crossed into Turkey's Van province on foot. Later, they were handed with fake identification cards and promised to be taken to Ankara and Istanbul.
Drivers of the vans were arrested.
Turkey has been the main route for refugees trying to cross into Europe, especially since the start of Syria’s civil war in 2011
Among the migrants held last year in Turkey, the majority came from Pakistan -- around 15,000 -- followed by Afghanistan, at around 12,000. Syrians totaled 10,000.
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