IZMIR, Turkey

Security forces on Thursday held at least 25 asylum seekers in western Turkey, sources said.

Gendarmerie teams in the Dikili district of western Izmir province stopped a suspected cube van on the Izmir-Canakkale highway.

As many as 25 Congolese nationals were found hiding in the back of the box truck. They were held, and will be referred to the provincial migration center for further processing.

The driver of the vehicle was also detained.

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.

It hosts nearly 4 million refugees, including over 3.6 million Syrians, more than any other country in the world.

*Writing by Handan Kazanci

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