KOCAELI/ KILIS/ MUGLA/ IZMIR, Turkey

The Turkish Coast Guard on Friday rescued a total of 92 asylum seekers stranded in the Aegean Sea on two boats.

A Coast Guard vessel in the western Izmir province was sent to the coast of Seferihasar district as a sailing boat hit a fish farm cafe, according to an official statement.

A total of 70 asylum seekers were rescued, the statement added.

Another three asylum seekers, who had been pushed back by Greece to Turkish territorial waters, were rescued in the Cesme district.

Separately, the Turkish Coast Guard rescued at least 19 asylum seekers on the shores of Mugla province, said the source, who asked not to be named because of restrictions on speaking to the media.

After routine checks, the asylum seekers were transferred to the provincial migration authority.

A Turkish national aboard the boat was arrested for allegedly organizing human smuggling.

10 irregular migrants held across nation

Meanwhile, at least 10 irregular migrants were rounded up across Turkey, security sources said Friday.

Five Afghan nationals were held in the northwestern province of Kocaeli.

They were found crammed in a vehicle on the Anadolu Highway and the driver was detained right after.

The migrants were referred to the provincial migration office. Legal action was taken against the driver, identified only by initials I.B., for smuggling migrants.

Separately, police arrested five foreign nationals, including a child, in the southern Kilis province, local authorities said in a statement.

Kilis governorate said that the migrants were found in a vehicle in the Oylum neighborhood.

The migrants were referred to the provincial migration office and the driver was detained.

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

*Writing by Gozde Bayar

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