By Mehmet Yavas and Ali Balli
CANAKKALE / MUGLA, Turkey (AA) - Turkey rescued 65 asylum seekers illegally pushed back by Greek authorities into Turkish territorial waters in the Aegean Sea, a security source said Monday.
The Turkish Coast Guard rescued 33 asylum seekers off the coast of Ayvacik in the western Canakkale province, the coast guard said in a statement.
Turkey has 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.
Meanwhile, another 32 irregular migrants were rescued by the Turkish Coast Guard in Bodrum in Turkey’s southwestern Mugla province, according to the provincial coast guard.
In a statement, the governorship said the fight against migrant smuggling and human trafficking will continue.
After routine checks, the migrants were taken to the provincial migration authority.
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.
*Writing by Havva Kara Aydin in Ankara