IZMIR, Turkey 

At least 25 asylum seekers left stranded in Turkish territorial waters by Greek authorities were rescued early Tuesday.   

According to a statement by the Coast Guard Command, teams were sent to the area upon learning there were asylum seekers on two lifeboats off the coast of Cesme district in Izmir province. 

The teams rescued the asylum seekers in the Aegean Sea and they were taken to the provincial migration office.  

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. 

 The country opened its gates earlier this year to asylum seekers seeking to cross to Europe, accusing the European Union of failing to keep its promises under a 2016 migrant deal.

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