IZMIR, Turkey

The Turkish Coast Guard rescued 24 asylum seekers early Thursday who were adrift on a boat in the Aegean Sea. 

The asylum seekers were onboard a rubber boat that was forced into Turkish territorial waters by the Greek Coast Guard.

The asylum seekers, including women and children, were rescued off the coast of Seferihisar in Izmir province.

Turkey has been one of the main routes for asylum seekers wanting to reach Europe, especially since Syria’s civil war started in 2011.

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

*Writing by Gozde Bayar

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