50 asylum seekers held in Turkey

Country is key transit point for those seeking a better life in Europe

Yusuf Soykan Bal   | 31.03.2020
50 asylum seekers held in Turkey

IZMIR, Turkey 

A total of 50 asylum seekers of various nationalities were held in western Turkey after attempting to cross into Greece by rubber boat, local security authorities said early Tuesday.   

The Coast Guard dispatched a team to waters off Dikili district, where 26 foreign nationals were detained from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Syria, Gambia, Somalia, Central Africa, Tunisia and Palestine. 

In a separate incident, 24 foreigners from Syria, Central Africa, Palestine, Iraq and Lebanon were caught by security authorities in rubber boats off the coast of Cesme district before entering Greece. 

All of the asylum seekers were referred to the provincial migration office. 

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. 

Late last month, Turkey announced that it would no longer stop asylum seekers from reaching Europe via land while banning boat crossings. 

Turkey accuses the European Union of failing to keep its promises under a 2016 migrant deal. 

Turkey currently hosts over 3.7 million Syrians, making it the world's top refugee-hosting country.

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