AYVACIK, Turkey (Reuters) - 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 EU leaders to prevent migrants from traveling to Europe in return for 3 billion euros (dollars) 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 traveled through Turkey then risked their lives to reach Greece in rickety boats this year, their first stop in Europe before traveling north.
Nearly 600 people have died on the so-called eastern-Mediterranean route, according to the International Organization for Migration.
Turkey is home to more than 2 million refugees as well as thousands of refugees from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Writing by Ayla Jean Yackley and Yesim Dikmen; Editing by Nick Tattersall and Louise Ireland