Eighteen asylum seekers were held by Turkish security forces in the country’s northwestern province on Monday, according to a security source.

The asylum seekers — including Afghan, Syrian and Iraqi nationals — were held by local gendarmerie forces in the Kofcaz district of Kirklareli province, which borders Bulgaria.

After routine checks, they were referred to the provincial Gendarmerie Command, and later transferred to the local repatriation center.

The asylum seekers claimed they were caught by police in Bulgaria and then left on the Turkish side of the border.

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

*Writing by Seda Sevencan​​​​​​​

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