Ozge Elif Kizil / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

Turkey detains 1,300 refugees en route to Greece

Move comes day after Turkish and EU officials seal deal to stem flow of asylum seekers into Europe

Authorities in northwest Turkey on Monday rounded up some 1,300 refugees and migrants allegedly preparing to make their way into Greece, Turkey's state-run news agency reported.

Some 750 refugees were detained in a pre-dawn sweep in the town of Ayvacik, in Canakkale province, which is a main crossing point to the Greek island of Lesbos, the Anadolu Agency reported. By the afternoon, authorities had detained 550 more people, some of whom were trying to hide in olive groves.

The move came a day after Turkey and EU leaders sealed a joint summit with a commitment to re-energize Turkey's long-stalled membership bid and bolster their resolve to deal with the Syrian refugee crisis.

It was not clear if Monday's sweep was directly related to the Turkish commitment to help contain the flow of refugees and migrants. Officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Anadolu said the refugees and migrants were from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran.

Four suspected smugglers were also detained in the sweep while four boats and six boat motors were seized.

The refugees were put into buses and taken to a small, overcrowded detention center for foreigners awaiting deportation, the private Dogan news agency said.

During the sweep, authorities also discovered a body which had washed up on the shore, suspected to be that of a migrant.

The Associated Press

Related News

Find Al Jazeera America on your TV

Get email updates from Al Jazeera America

Sign up for our weekly newsletter

Get email updates from Al Jazeera America

Sign up for our weekly newsletter