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Turkish authorities detain 160 in migration operations

TURKISH AUTHORITIES DETAIN 160 IN MIGRATION OPERATIONS

Turkish security forces detained at least 160 Syrian refugees and migrants on Tuesday who were trying to cross into Greece illegally from western Turkey's Aydin province.

Coast guards located a boat off Tuzburnu in the Didim district of Aydin province, according to sources in Coast Guard Command. They stopped the vessel and detained 54 Syrian people, including 27 children.

Didim district gendarmerie command conducted another operation in the Batikoy neighborhood. The security forces stopped a truck carrying 106 migrants, including 23 children.

A suspected organizer of the illegal crossings was arrested and remanded into custody by court order.

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.

Since then, the number of refugees caught crossing the Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece has fallen by 85 percent, according to the Turkish Coast Guard.

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