AYDIN, Turkey

Turkey on Thursday rescued 13 asylum seekers, who were pushed back by Greek coastal authorities into Turkish waters off the Aegean coast. 

In a statement, the Turkish Coast Guard said that teams were dispatched off the Kusadasi district of western Aydin province upon the notification that there was a group of stranded asylum seekers on a lifeboat.

After being rescued and routine checks, the asylum seekers — Syrian and Lebanese nationals — were sent to the provincial migration authority.

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.

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