Seventeen asylum seekers were held by Turkish security forces in the northwestern province of Kirklareli

17 asylum seekers held in northwestern Turkey

Seventeen asylum seekers were held by Turkish security forces in the northwestern province of Kirklareli, which borders Bulgaria, security sources said on Thursday.

The Afghan and Syrian nationals were held by local gendarmerie forces in Kofcaz and Demirkoy districts near the border.

According to insiders, the asylum seekers told Turkish forces that they crossed the border but were arrested by Bulgarian police and left on the Turkish side after being beaten and their valuables snatched.

After routine medical checks, they were referred to the provincial Gendarmerie Command and later transferred to the local repatriation center.

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

Turkey hosts nearly 4 million refugees, more than any other country in the world.

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