ANKARA

New Turkish unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) footage shows a Greek Coast Guard ship in the Aegean Sea illegally pushing back a boat of asylum seekers, including women and children, according to Turkish defense sources.

The April 2 footage captured by the National Defense Ministry shows Greek Coast Guard boats forcing some 20-25 asylum seekers in inflatable boats north of the Greek island of Rhodes into Turkish territorial waters, said the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

It then shows Turkish Coast Guard units coming to the aid of the asylum seekers and bringing them ashore.

Recent months have seen numerous reports of Greek forces illegally pushing back boats with asylum seekers, endangering the passengers in the process.

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

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

* Writing by Merve Aydogan

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