Turkish border police detained more than 30 stowaways from the Chinese mainland on Wednesday and are now co-operating with the Chinese Consulate General in Istanbul to identify and repatriate the illegal immigrants.
The case was the fifth and largest of its kind this year, according to the consulate.
Another group of 14 Chinese stowaways from East China's Fujian Province remained in the custody of Turkish police and were waiting to be repatriated, said Tian Kaisheng, a Chinese official with the visa office under the consulate.
Tian, who is in charge of the largest case, said the immigrants detained on Wednesday were in good health and were regularly provided bread and water.
The consulate faxed official forms in Chinese to the local police bureau in Canakkale in northwestern Turkey, where the stowaways were caught.
The stowaways are to list their name, address and phone number on the forms and fax it back to the consulate this weekend.
Tian said the consulate would then contact the stowaways' relatives to streamline repatriation.
Hao Shifen, a Chinese officer with the consulate, said stowaways from China to Turkey had increased in recent years despite intensified crackdown.
(China Daily April 13, 2002)