Turkey on Monday rescued at least 48 asylum seekers who were pushed back by the Greek Coast Guard into Turkish territorial waters in the Aegean Sea, according to a security source.
The asylum seekers were rescued from a rubber boat off the coast of Ayvalik in Turkey’s northwestern Balikesir province, said the source who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
Authorities brought the group to Cunda Island, where they were provided with food, clothing, and medical supplies.
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 and human rights groups have repeatedly condemned Greece’s illegal practice of pushing back asylum seekers, saying it violates humanitarian values and international law by endangering the lives of vulnerable migrants, including women and children.
*Writing by Merve Aydogan in Ankara
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