IZMIR, Turkey

Turkey rescued 43 irregular migrants pushed back by the Greek Coast Guard in the Aegean Sea, said security sources on Tuesday. 

Acting on a tip that there was a boat stranded off the coast of Madra in Dikili, Izmir on the Turkish Aegean, the Turkish Coast Guard launched a search operation and rescued the migrants.

After routine checks, they were referred to the provincial migration authority. 

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

Turkey earlier this year opened its gates to irregular migrants seeking to cross to Europe, accusing the EU of failing to keep its promises under a 2016 migrant deal.

Turkey has decried Greece’s illegal practice of pushing back asylum seekers, saying that in addition to breaking the law, it endangers the lives of vulnerable migrants, including women and children.

Copyright 2022 Anadolu Agency. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.