Mugla, Turkey

The Turkish Coast Guard on Sunday rescued 14 asylum seekers who were pushed back by Greek coastal authorities into Turkish waters off the Aegean coast, according to security sources.

A coast guard team was dispatched off the coast of Marmaris in Mugla province after learning that the South African asylum seekers were stranded on a boat.

The asylum seekers said that when they reached Rhodes Island, Greek coast guard teams damaged their boat and pushed them into Turkish territorial waters.

After routine checks, the asylum seekers 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.

Turkey has repeatedly condemned Greece’s illegal practice of pushing back asylum seekers, saying that it violates humanitarian values and international law by endangering the lives of vulnerable migrants, including women and children.

*Writing by Fahri Aksut

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