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Turkey rescues 143 asylum seekers pushed back by Greece

Turkey rescues 143 asylum seekers pushed back by Greece
Asylum seekers rescued off Aegean coast

By Huseyin Bagis

IZMIR/MUGLA, Turkey (AA) - Turkey rescued at least 143 asylum seekers from the Aegean Sea in two separate incidents, the Turkish Coast Guard Command said Tuesday.

In Cesme and Dikili districts in the western province of Izmir, coast guard teams rescued 137 asylum seekers who were illegally pushed back by Greek officials, said the command.

Separately, teams saved six additional asylum seekers who similarly were pushed back by Greek officials in the Aegean Sea off Bodrum district in southwestern Mugla province.

Turkey and human rights groups have repeatedly condemned Greece’s illegal practice of pushing back asylum seekers, saying it violates international law and humanitarian values by endangering the lives of vulnerable migrants, including women and children.

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.

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

source: News Feed
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