Turkey detains 1,300 migrants in swoop after EU deal: reports

Turkey on Monday detained 1,300 migrants seeking to head to Europe from its Aegean coast, in a major swoop just hours after agreeing a deal with the European Union to stop the migration flow, the Dogan news agency reported.

In a operation staring before dawn, a 250-strong police team raided eight different locations on the coast around the resort town of Ayvacik, the report said.

Some 850 people were initially detained, with the number rising to 1,300 later in the day. Three suspected people traffickers were arrested while four boats and six motors were seized, it added.

Hundreds of thousands of migrants, many from Syria, have in the last month sought to escape to the European Union from the Turkish coast.

The European Union agreed at a summit on Sunday on a three-billion-euro ($3.2 billion) aid deal to stem the flow of migrants from Turkey, which is hosting over two million Syrian refugees.

The region around Ayvacik has become a hub for refugees seeking to go to EU member Greece, with the Greek island of Lesbos just a few kilometres to the south but the crossing a perilous undertaking in overcrowded, open boats.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. You can find out more by clicking this link