IZMIR, Turkiye

Turkish Coast Guard units rescued 52 irregular migrants off the coast of Izmir province after they were pushed back by Greek coastal authorities. 

The Coast Guard Command said Tuesday in a statement they learned that there was a group of irregular migrants in life rafts off Dikili, Seferihisar, Foca and Cesme districts and dispatched units to the areas.

Later, the asylum seekers, who were in five life rafts, were brought ashore and all of them were taken to provincial migration offices.

Turkiye and human rights groups have 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.

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

It already hosts 4 million refugees, more than any other country in the world, and is taking new security measures on its borders to humanely prevent a fresh influx of migrants.

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