IZMIR, Turkey 

Nearly 300 asylum seekers have been held in western Turkey for attempting to reach Europe illegally, a security source said Tuesday.

A total of 276 asylum seekers were detained in Izmir province, while eight others were arrested over allegations of being the organizers.

Due to its geographical location and conflicts in neighboring regions, Turkey has been one of the main routes for asylum seekers seeking to start a new life in Europe.

The deadly civil war in Syria has been one of the triggering factors behind large-scale migration to the continent.

Turkey hosts nearly four million Syrians, more than any other country in the world.

*Writing by Merve Aydogan in Ankara

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