MUGLA, Turkey

The Turkish Coast Guard rescued at least 24 asylum seekers who were pushed back by Greek coastal authorities into Turkish waters off the Aegean coast, a security source said Thursday.

The coast guard was dispatched to the shores of the Marmaris district of Mugla, said the source, who asked not to be named because of restrictions on speaking to the media.

After routine checks, the asylum seekers were transferred to the provincial migration authority.

A Turkish national aboard the boat was arrested for allegedly organizing human trafficking.

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

*Writing by Merve Aydogan in Ankara

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