Turkey’s border troops on Wednesday helped 26 irregular migrants who were pushed back by Greece and left freezing on an islet in the Maritsa River.

In a statement, Turkey’s National Defense Ministry said: “26 irregular migrants that Greece tried to illegally deport to Turkey, were rescued after being left stranded on an islet in the Maritsa river.”

The migrants were handed over to the relevant authorities.

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

Turkey hosts nearly 4 million refugees, including over 3.6 million Syrians, more than any other country in the world.

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