Turkey rescues 64 asylum seekers in Aegean Sea
Asylum seekers were rescued off western Izmir and Aydin provinces
Turkey rescued 64 asylum seekers in the Aegean Sea who were pushed back by the Greek Coast Guard into the Turkish territorial waters, a security source said on Thursday.
Acting on a tip-off, the Turkish Coast Guard teams were dispatched to areas off western Izmir and Aydin provinces, said the source who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
Some 36 asylum seekers were rescued off Izmir's Dikili district, while 28 others were rescued off the Kusadasi district of Aydin.
The asylum seekers were referred to the provincial migration office, the source said.
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.
Turkey and 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 migrants, including women and children.
*Writing by Sena Guler in AnkaraAnadolu 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.