Turkey rescues 48 asylum seekers pushed back by Greece
Rescue operation carried out by coast guard teams
The Turkish Coast Guard on Sunday rescued 48 asylum seekers, who were pushed back by Greek authorities, according to a Turkish security source.
After learning that the asylum seekers were stranded on boats off the coast of Marmaris district in Turkey’s Mugla province, the regional coast guard command sent teams to the location, said the source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
Arriving at the location, the coast guard teams rescued the asylum seekers, it added.
All of the irregular migrants were taken to the provincial migration center.
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.
It hosts nearly 4 million refugees, including over 3.6 million Syrians -- more than any other country in the world.
Turkey has repeatedly condemned Greece’s illegal practice of pushing back asylum seekers, which is also condemned by international human rights groups, saying it violates humanitarian values and international law by endangering the lives of vulnerable migrants, including women and children.