CANAKKALE, Turkey

Authorities held 144 irregular migrants in western Turkey trying to cross to Greece, security sources said Tuesday. 

Foreign nationals from different countries trying to cross to the Greek island of Lesbos sailed into the Aegean Sea from the coast of Canakkale province by wooden boat, said the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

Turkish Coast Guard Command teams in the region brought these people to the shore following an operation off Bozcaada in Canakkale.

One suspect was arrested for organizing the illegal crossing, the sources added.

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.

Copyright 2021 Anadolu Agency. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.