MUGLA, Turkey

The Turkish Coast Guard on Tuesday rescued 10 asylum seekers who had been pushed back by Greek coastal authorities into Turkish territorial waters off the Aegean coast, according to security sources.

The group was rescued from a boat off the coast of Bodrum in Mugla province, said the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

They were later transferred 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 earlier this year opened its gates to irregular migrants wanting to cross to Europe, accusing the European Union of failing to keep its promises under a 2016 migrant deal.

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

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