MUGLA, Turkey

The Turkish Coast Guard rescued 54 asylum seekers Thursday who were pushed 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 asylum seekers were stranded on two boats, said sources who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

They were taken to the provincial migration authority after routine checks.

Meanwhile, police arrested two suspects for allegedly organizing illegal crossings of asylum seekers.

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 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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