Hours after EU deal, Turkey rounds up 1,300 migrants bound for Greece

Turkish gendarmes apprehended hundreds of Syrians, Iraqis, Iranians and Afghans and 3 human traffickers.

FILE: A Syrian man carries his disabled relative as they walk with other migrants and asylum seekers to find transportation to central Athens or continue towards the Greek-Macedonian border from the port of Piraeus on 21 October, 2015. Picture: AFP.

TURKEY - Turkish authorities rounded up some 1,300 migrants on Monday that they said were planning to sail to Greece from hideouts near secluded Aegean beaches and forests, hours after striking a deal with the European Union on stemming refugee flows.

Turkish gendarmes apprehended hundreds of Syrians, Iraqis, Iranians and Afghans and three human traffickers, near the town of Ayvacik in Canakkale province, coastguard officials told Reuters.

In the largest operation of its kind in recent months, the migrants were sent to a repatriation center where some could face deportation, the officials said.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Sunday struck a deal with European Union leaders to prevent migrants from travelling to Europe in return for €3 billion in cash, a deal on visas and renewed talks on joining the 28-nation bloc.

A record 500,000 people fleeing a four-year civil war in Syria have travelled through Turkey then risked their lives to reach Greece in rickety boats this year, their first stop in Europe before travelling north.

Nearly 600 people have died on the so-called eastern-Mediterranean route, according to the International Organisation for Migration.

Turkey is home to more than two million refugees as well as thousands of refugees from Iraq and Afghanistan.