Twelve asylum seekers were held by authorities in northwestern Turkey, security sources said on Wednesday.

The Afghan and Iraqi nationals were caught by gendarmerie forces in the Kofcaz district of Kirklareli province, which borders Bulgaria.

After routine checks and health controls, they were referred to the provincial gendarmerie command, and later to a repatriation center.

Turkey has been a key transit point for asylum seekers who want to cross into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution.

Turkey hosts about 4 million refugees, more than any other country in the world.

*Writing by Jeyhun Aliyev from Ankara

Copyright 2022 Anadolu Agency. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.