Turkey saves 194 asylum seekers in Aegean, nearby

Many asylum seekers were illegally pushed back by Greek Coast Guard, say security sources

Mehmet Yavas, Mirac Kaya and Halil Fidan   | 29.03.2021
Turkey saves 194 asylum seekers in Aegean, nearby


Turkey on Monday rescued 194 asylum seekers, many of whom were illegally pushed back by the Greek Coast Guard into Turkish territorial waters in the Aegean Sea, according to security sources.

The Turkish Coast Guard rescued 82 asylum seekers stranded off the Ayvacik district in the northwestern Canakkale province, said the sources on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

The asylum seekers, trying to cross to the Greek island of Lesbos, were pushed back to Turkish territorial waters by Greek forces.

Separately, at least 36 asylum seekers were rescued from a rubber boat off the coast of Ayvalik in the northwestern Balikesir province.

Authorities brought the group to Alibey Island (Cunda), where they were provided with food, clothing, and medical supplies.

Meanwhile, the Turkish Coast Guard dispatched teams to rescue 43 asylum seekers in a dinghy stranded off Dikili in the Izmir province.

Later, the Turkish Coast Guard rescued 33 more people from Izmir’s Madra Stream.

The asylum seekers were taken to the shore and later referred to the provincial migration office.

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.

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