Dec 20 2017

Turkey detains 166 "undocumented migrants"

At least 166 "undocumented migrants" have been detained by Turkish law enforcement, pro-government newspaper Daily Sabah reported.

115 Pakistani nationals, who were planning to cross into Greece via Edirne, were held in the Çatalca district in Istanbul after Turkish police were tipped off, the newspaper reported.

Six Turkish nationals and a 17-year-old Pakistani citizen were arrested, Daily Sabah said, adding that the group was said to have taken $1,500 from each migrant to bring them to Greece.

34 Syrian nationals, mainly women and children, were also detained in the Silivri district of Istanbul, the newspaper said, while one suspect was arrested.

17 more Syrians were caught after passing through the border illegally from the southern province of Hatay, Daily Sabah reported.

Turkey does not recognise Pakistanis, or the millions of Syrians who have fled the war in Syria, as refugees.

It signed a deal with the European Union in March 2016 for the return of Syrian refugees who have sought shelter in Greek islands.