Turkish Coast Guard units rescued more than 100 irregular migrants off Izmir province early Wednesday after they were pushed back to the country’s territorial waters by Greek authorities.
According to a statement by the Coast Guard Command, a total of 108 migrants were struggling to stay afloat in rubber boats off Urla, Cesme and Dikili districts when Turkish authorities intervened.
They were then referred to the provincial migration office for due process.
Greece is the main route into the European Union for asylum seekers arriving from Türkiye.
Türkiye and international human rights groups have repeatedly condemned Greece's illegal practice of pushing back asylum seekers, saying it violates humanitarian values and international law by endangering the lives of vulnerable people, including women and children.
Türkiye has been a key transit point for irregular migrants who want to cross into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution in their countries.
It already hosts 4 million refugees, more than any other country in the world, and is taking new security measures on its borders to humanely prevent a fresh influx of migrants.
*Writing by Ali Murat Alhas Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.