Turkey rescues 121 asylum seekers pushed back by Greece

Migrants abandoned by Greek authorities in Turkish territorial waters

Gokhan Duzyol, Suat Salgın and Mirac Kaya   | 18.06.2021
Turkey rescues 121 asylum seekers pushed back by Greece


Turkey rescued 121 asylum seekers Thursday in the Aegean Sea after they were illegally pushed back by Greek authorities into Turkish territorial waters, according to a security source.

The Turkish Coast Guard, acting on a tip, rescued 84 asylum seekers from two rubber boats off the coast of Didim in western Aydin province, said the source who asked not to be named because of restrictions on speaking to the media.

Separately, another coast guard team was dispatched to the coast of Ayvalik in northwestern Balikesir province to rescue at least 37 asylum seekers.

The asylum seekers were trying to reach Greece’s Lesbos Island on a dinghy and lifeboat.

After routine checks, they were taken to the provincial migration authority.

Turkey has been a key transit point for asylum seekers who want to cross into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution.

The country hosts nearly 4 million Syrian refugees, more than any other country.

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