At least 38 irregular migrants were held in Turkey’s southern Osmaniye and eastern Erzincan provinces on Sunday, a security source said.

Police teams stopped a minibus at a checkpoint on the Tarsus-Adana-Gaziantep Highway and found 11 Syrian and as many Egyptian nationals who had entered the country illegally, said the source on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

The migrants were transferred to the provincial migration office after routine procedures.

It was learnt that the irregular migrants had paid $3,000 to human traffickers to reach the country via Iran.

The driver of the minibus was arrested, the source said.

At least 16 more undocumented Afghan nationals were held in Erzincan.

They were found on three buses that were stopped by police at a checkpoint on the Erzincan-Erzurum Highway, according to the source.

The irregular migrants were taken to a police station for identification and will be transferred to the provincial migration office, the source 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.

Turkey hosts nearly 4 million refugees, including more than 3.6 million Syrians, the most for any country in the world.

*Writing by Havva Kara Aydin

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