VAN, Turkey

At least 73 irregular migrants were held in three separate operations in Turkey’s eastern Van province on Monday, security sources said.

Gendarmerie Command teams in the Van province caught 52 migrants hiding in a cave after illegally entering Turkey from Iran, said the source on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

Another sixteen irregular migrants were caught in a van in the Ozpinar neighborhood, while five more in a deserted house in the same locality.

The migrants were taken to the district gendarmerie command, where they were served food, and then sent to the local migration office.

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 Merve Berker

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.