IZMIR, Turkey

Turkey rescued at least 109 asylum seekers aboard a faulty boat set to sail from a bay in Turkey’s Aegean Izmir province.

Local gendarmerie teams learned that migrant smugglers were preparing to take asylum seekers to Italy by boat attached to a fishing port in the Karaburun district of Izmir.

As part of an investigation carried out by local prosecutors, the provincial gendarmerie command, the Turkish Coast Guard teams, and the national intelligence service initiated a joint operation and busted the boat just as it was about to set sail from the Merdivenli Bay in the Urla district.

Turkish security forces rescued 109 asylum seekers, Afghan and Iranian nationals, including a pregnant woman and children, on the boat.
Four suspects were arrested for allegedly organizing the illegal crossing.

The asylum seekers were taken to the provincial migration office after health checks and routine procedures.

According to sources, a malfunction was detected in the engine of the boat carrying the asylum seekers, and under bad weather conditions, it was likely to sink.

The asylum seekers, who said that they paid a lot of money to the organizers of the trip to reach Europe, stated that the boat they boarded was very crowded.
In the footage shared by the gendarmerie, a suspect is seen arrested after Turkish security teams do a body search.

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

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